Archive of ‘Craft show’ category

First show of the year

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Hello friends!

The start of the year is always very quiet for me. Usually, this is time when I take stock of things, plan what shows to do for the year and other administrative tasks that are essential to the business.

This year however, I had the opportunity to participate in a show organized by the wonderful folks of Pot and Box at no less than the iconic Fisher Building.

The Fisher Building which was designed in an Art Deco style was completed in 1928 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1989. How could I pass up the chance to be in such a prestigious building?

I have to admit I was a bit worried because the weekend of the show was also the weekend when we were hit with another winter storm.

But storm or not, we were all there bright and early to welcome the crowd that came through those Art Deco doors.

After I finished setting up, I went for a look around and was blown away by the talent shown by the wonderful participating vendors.

Immediately, i was wowed by Project Projections, who laser cuts these beautiful shadow lamps. I loved it so much, I took home his constellation lamp!

Then there was Owen and Abbey with their simple yet beautifully crafted home furnishings and tables made from wood salvaged from abandoned homes in Detroit, Pontiac and other urban areas. Their work is proof that beauty can be found and made everywhere.

I really liked the aesthetics of Corbé

with its smooth handmade curves and a color palette designed to go with everything.

And I loved meeting Corliss from The Lowry Estate. She had funky vintage pieces at prices that won’t break the bank. Just check out the coat she had.

All in all a fantastic show!

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Shop small business

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Hello friends,

Apparently today is Cyber Monday, which means it’s deals galore all over the internet. The good thing about shopping online is we are able to support a number of businesses, including those which don’t as yet have, brick and mortar stores, myself included.

But I love brick and mortar stores. Call it old fashioned but there’s nothing like walking inside a store and finding just the right thing. Bonus, if you make friends along with way with the people in the store.

With that in mind as well as the idea of

shopping from small businesses, a friend and I set out to do our version of a pop up store.

Our “store” looked out onto this view…

It’s a pretty good view don’t you think? It certainly didn’t feel like work whenever we looked out.

Shy vs Bold, my partner in this pop up is a purveyor of wonderfully distinctive clothes and accessories. It began with a desire to offer something different from what we find in stores. And now carries a host of pretty dresses, cool jackets and funky accessories. If you want to stand out, Shy vs Bold is the way to go!

Then there’s me with my one of a kind antique charms and storied beads. I will never tire of making these pieces with a little bit of me and a whole lot of history.

What a blast we all had! But the best part was seeing our friends leave supremely happy and content with their purchases. As one friend put it “ I feel like a model after this afternoon”

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Summer stackers 

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Hello friends! Temperatures hit over the 90s this weekend and everyone was out enjoying the beautiful weather. And as summer is all about enjoying the outdoors, I’ve been making new pieces that are easy to wear, easy to layer and stack but still very pretty. As always these pieces are designed to slip right among those pieces you already have in your jewelry box. 

This first piece features a wonderful mid 19th century Venetian trade bead on a silver chain. I love the summery colors of teal blue, yellow and green on this bead! 


Nothing says classic more than pearls and this vintage French glass pearl is jazzed up with gold and silver decorative caps.

This necklace is perfect for adding just a touch of color to an all white outfit.


And finally, a necklace featuring a pretty early 20th century Venetian bead of sky blue and gold. 

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Some wonderful news

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Hello friends! Hope your week is off to a wonderful start. Mine certainly is as I’m very happy to announce that certain De Petites Merveilles pieces are now available at the Franklin Village Boutique!!


The boutique is ideally located in the historic village of Franklin. The village has cute stores and cafes as well as a cider mill that serves the most wonderful donuts and cider in the fall. 
Terri Cooper, owner of the Village Boutique opened her store 2 years ago. She bought out the owners of the store that used to be there because she says she walked in and felt something special about the space. Immediately, she knew she wanted to open her own store there.  After extensive renovations, her store opened, stocked with the latest fashions but also with local designers and artists. 


Terri believes firmly in having a welcoming and inviting space and she has succeeded admirably in this. I walked into her store and felt like this was a great place for my jewelry.  Talking to her and watching her interact with the people who walked in reinforced this feeling.  
She says the best part of being in the store is meeting all the people coming in and sharing in their lives. “People are so interesting, there’s layers to them just waiting to be discovered” she said to me.  


I love the fact that she believes in and supports local artists. I can’t tell you how proud I am to be carried by a store that still believes in hand crafted products. More importantly, my pieces are in a store that believes in treating everyone as a friend.  That’s increasingly rare in these days of efficient online shopping.

So which Petites Merveilles pieces have found a home at the Village boutique? Here are a few pieces….




I hope you stop by and check out this wonderful store!

Some details:

Franklin Village Boutique

32716 Franklin Road

Franklin, MI

248-8510055

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A match to make your day

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Hello friends, remember these earrings?


After I finished this pair I was left with two of these pink and silver foil beads. At first I thought I would make another pair of earrings but I wasn’t convinced by this idea. I want my jewelry to be unique and one of a kind so another pair just wouldn’t do.

So I put them away. Then  I remembered that somewhere in my bead box was a lonesome silver foil bead that was the only one left after I finished a necklace. Now this little orphan bead is a really pretty bead with lots of silver foiling that has remained intact over the years. Just like the pink and silver beads, this one dates back to the early 1950s. In no time, this necklace was born…


I love how these lonesome one-of beads suddenly found themselves together to make a beautiful new piece.

And look how well the necklace goes with the earrings!


The earrings are now listed in the shop and the necklace will soon be added!

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A shop update full of earrings

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I’ve been on an earring kick lately. Just check out these beauties that are now listed in the shop. These are all Venetians beads dating back to the period between the 40s and early 50s. What I love about these pairs is no two beads are exactly alike. Each bead has subtle differences that make them so interesting to wear. I like to think of it as the mark of the hands that made them. 

 


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One necklace for different looks

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When I make something, I always try to imagine it slipping into my jewelry box and getting along with everthing else that’s there. I also like it when the piece goes with lots of different looks. After all, we work hard, do different things so we want our jewelry to be equally versatile. That’s why I’m so happy with this new necklace.


Today’s piece is a simple enough necklace composed of multicolored crystal rondelles.  These rondelles date back to the early 40s and have clearly lived other lives. They’ve been well loved as evidenced by the missing crystals in each rondelle. When I saw these in Paris, I knew immediately that I wanted to make something with them. Yes, they aren’t perfect but I couldn’t bear to just throw them away. As it turns out, it goes with a  number of different looks. So far, I’ve come up with three looks to give you ideas on how to wear this beauty. 

If you’re feeling casual, it’s the perfect accessory to jazz up a shirt. Throw it over a tee, or in this case, a turtleneck since it’s still cold, and you’re good to go.


It’s also great for layering. I love it with another long chain over a simple black shirt.


This last look may yet be my favorite. When you want color and layers, it’s totally possible with this piece.


How would you wear this necklace? 

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Bookish adventures

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One rainy misty afternoon, I finally managed to make my way down to John King books. I’d long heard about this 4 story institution devoted to books and I have long wanted to visit.

Well, it finally happened and I can tell you that it lives up to all the accolades it has earned over the years.


The bookstore was founded by Mr John King in 1971 and its original location was in Dearborn. It moved to its downtown location in 1983 when Mr King purchased the Advanced Glove factory. It later expanded to have two other locations though sadly, one of these two has recently closed.

They have an inventory of over a million titles divided among its two remaining branches thought the downtown one has a much larger inventory. It’s not far fetched to think they have a book on possibly every topic you can think of. No wonder it was once ranked no 2 of the world’s 18 Bookstores Every Book Lover Must Visit at Least Once. I’m keeping this list by the way and making it one of my goals to visit as many as I can. But I digress.


In this day and age where everything is digital and online, John King books is firmly on the old fashioned side. There is no computerized inventory except for their rare book collection. They cannot look up titles for you,  instead, they have booksellers who can direct your search for titles and then you’re on your own– to peruse the alphabetically arranged shelves and get lost in the warren of musty corridors of shelves lined with books and yet more books. When you come, don’t expect to surface for air until hours later. Actually, it’s best to simply clear your schedule of all other things.


As for my book haul, I came away with a very modest one. But this just means another trip down very soon! 

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Soaking up the sun and finding inspiration

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A few days before the close of 2016, we had the pleasure of spending a few days in the sunny island of Puerto Rico. It was a welcome break from the snow and cold and a chance to soak up the sun and recharge.

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 We were greeted by blue skies and the blue green waters of the Atlantic. We could feel ourselves immediately relaxing. The island was first settled in 1509 by the Spanish led by Juan Ponce de Leon. The present site of San Juan was founded in 1510 and was  given its formal name  of Puerto Rico de San Juan Bautista in 1521.  It is the second oldest European established capital in the new world, the first being Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.

The remnants of its colonial past is evident in the walls of the city and its two forts that stills stands guard over the city. In days past, the forts constituted the first line of defense against hostile powers who would storm the city and take its riches.

Nowadays, its a popular spot for those who want to take a stroll, and take in the magnificent views of the sea.

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By day, we shared the historic downtown with the numerous daytrippers from the many cruise ships that make this port, a must stop in the Caribbean. All of us were walking around holding our cameras and phones in front of us, trying to capture the vibrant colors that adorn the traditional colonial houses and buildings.

Blue, yellow, violet and pink, every hue was present and it was fun trying to capture that.

Business establishments are on the first floor while families still lived in its upper floors.

At night, once all but the few who chose to stay the night were gone, it was possible to catch glimpses of the families that still live behind the wrought iron balconies and lace covered windows.

The best surprise of the trip was discovering a strong local and thriving artistic community. Yes, there are a number of American style malls but there are also a good number of stores carrying only local artists and featuring only local and handmade crafts and goods.

Take this store which proudly refuses to carry anything other than their own handmade Panama hats…

Or this one store which carried a number of pretty bags, among other things. On the day we were there, we got to meet the artist.  Its a big family undertaking, she told us. Her mother and daughter help her make the bags and her other daughter sells them in the store.

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 Here is a small sampling of her work.

img_7989One gallery I loved featured art work  showing the wonderful old doors of San Juan.
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But my favorite discovery was a tiny shop that also housed a jewelry school.  Nothing touristy about this shop. When I stepped in, I was among residents who were having their jewels cleaned or repaired. This picture is a small sampling of the work of either professors or students of the school.  Their work features gems and stones, silver, gold, and even enamel

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 Needless to say, this was the place to find the perfect souvenir to take back home.

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An array of pretty earrings 

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Sometimes you get on a streak of making one thing and the results are like this. All are available in the eshop! 


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Something pretty and sparkly

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Hello friends, today I thought I’d share my first attempt to capture one of my pieces in action! The first I hope of many more videos to come.

This is a pair of gorgeous gold foil spiral shaped Venetian beads dating back to the early years of the 1900s. It’s designed to add sparkle to whatever you decide to wear! 

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All about the WinterMarkt

| Craft show

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Hello friends, I hope your week is off to a roaring start! Today I thought I’d share with you photos from the WinterMarkt. This is my favorite show to do.   Of course, being an outside show, it has its own challenges but the fun and convivial atmosphere, the terrific help I get each year from the organizers and all the hot cider and wine you can drink makes it a show I look forward to each year!

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There are always fun booths to visit and you can stock up on all things Christmas.

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I have a weakness for sweet treats and there was certainly no shortage of that at the fair and I have to physically restrain myself from partaking gluttonously. These chocolate truffles for example from Pete’s Chocolates were excellent!

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And these delicious mini donuts from Detroit Mini Donuts? Irresistible. And I for one, wasn’t about to say no to them.

But lest you think it was all food and wine, we were lucky to have great entertainment the whole weekend.  The organizers found great singers from choirs of angelic sounding children to musicians who played inspiring Christmas music.

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As for me, I tried some new displays this year and I’m happy to say that it worked out quite well! Check out my new frames…

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We even had the full moon at the end of the weekend!

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As always a great show and one I’m looking forward to doing again in 2015!

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Show recap

| Craft show

Hello friends, today I thought I’d share a recap of a show I did recently. Its been awhile since I did a show so I was both apprehensive and excited. Its always nerve racking to show your wares to the public but I was at the same time excited to see all the wonderful crafts on display.

I need not have worried so much. Set up proceeded smoothly and contrary to my worries, I hadn’t forgotten anything crucial. It was quite a busy show and it was nice to interact with people. Working from home can be quite isolating and its always refreshing to meet people and have some live feedback.

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Being along however doesn’t allow me much time to go around and admire the other stands. During a short lull, I took a short look around and while I couldn’t take a lot of pictures, these two stands quickly caught my eye…

The first stand featured hand carved bird houses and bird feeders using local trees.

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They were really pretty and were clearly hours of patient work on the part of the artist. I can imagine a few lucky birds living in these houses.

The second stand which caught my eye featured some handmade signs with quirky and funny sayings. There must have been one sign that caught everyone’s eye because people would stop and look and laugh hysterically at one of her signs. Curious I took a look and realized why people were laughing…

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This, my friends, is why its always fun to do a show!

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Looking back

| Craft show

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Hello friends, for this Throwback Thursday post, I wanted to talk about one of the first shows I ever did.  This isn’t the first show I ever did because I didn’t even think to take pictures during that first show! This show was the second one I ever did and it was during the Salon du Vintage in Paris. I’ve always loved this Salon which brings together a big number of vintage sellers from all over Europe. That particular year, I thought to give it a try and to my surprise was able to get in. As you can imagine, I was super excited! It was such a major undertaking.  And so I set off the day of the show to set up only to realize how little prepared I really was.

I had at this point, bought my own table, instead of renting it like the first time (where the table rental cost me an arm and a leg) but in terms of display materials, everything was a hodge podge of various materials and colors. And as I didn’t have enough jewelry display stands, I just laid out all the necklaces on the table, which fortunately, at least had a table cloth!  It just looked so cobbled together and amateurish. The one thing that I did do right was to have an explanation of what the jewelry was about! Despite such an unpolished look, people seemed to like the jewelry I was doing. I’m proud to say that I did pretty well that weekend! Looking back now, I realize how lucky I was that day!

Its taken a lot of thinking and doing other shows and playing around with the stand to finally have a pretty and coherent looking booth stand.  The process of putting together my stand is a much faster and less stressful process since I now know what to do.  Knowing what to do with the physical space also allows me to think more about other aspects of the show such as more harmonious pairings and color groupings of the jewelry to better to present my work to the public.  Here is how my stand looks now..

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When I look at these two pictures now, I realize how far I’ve come since I started this adventure.  They are tangible proof of my progress.  And it encourages me to continue growing and doing better than ever!

 

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Show recap

| Craft show, Events

Hello friends! I’m happy to report that my first show for 2014 went extremely well.  I have to confess that getting up that morning was a bit hard. Its been awhile since the last show and it took some time for me to get moving. But once I arrived and started to see all the beautiful things, I got all excited.  As a concession to Valentines Day, I decided that my stand could do with a touch of red and pink.

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It was my first time to do an all jewelry show and I was uncertain how it would turn out. Fortunately, it proved something I’ve always thought which is that there’s jewelry for everyone’s taste.   So long as it was beautifully made, there’s someone with a taste for the different artists creations.  And there certainly was all manner and kind of jewelry at the show —-from polymer clay bead jewelry from Woodland Caravan to Victorian inspired baubles from Victorian Rose Boutique, to repurposed vintage jewelry from Calendar Girl, who it must be said also makes fantastically ornamented frames, bags and jewelry boxes! It was a blast being surrounded by beautiful things and hanging out with such talented people.

And while it was mostly jewelry, I have to tell you about one lady who was there with something else entirely.  Bird Brain Accessories by Jesska Christie is a line of whimsical and pretty hair accessories featuring birds and flowers.  I’m sure that wearing one of her creations will brighten up any dull day of the week!

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All in all, a great start to the 2014 show season!!

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After the Winter Markt

| Craft show

Well friends, I’m happy to report that the Winter Markt was a great success!! Despite the freezing conditions, lots of people came out to enjoy the variety of interesting things for sale as well as the different activities.
This show was my first outdoor event and it certainly had some challenges. I had to think about how to make my space an inviting and attractive one to shoppers and since the light fades quickly during these cold months, I had to make sure there were adequate lights for the jewelry to show. All in all I was happy with how it turned out and from talking to the other crafters, I have some ideas for future outdoor shows.
As always, I met some wonderful crafters. Lisa of Nellie’s natural goat milk soap makes each and every one of her soaps from the milk of goats they raise on their own farm. Their soaps are made purely from milk and essential oils and I can tell you that their booth smelled heavenly. When I asked her how she got started, she told me it was because she wanted soap without dyes or sulfates so her husband gave her a goat for their wedding anniversary! Isn’t that something? Check out the fireplace in their booth. Oh and they’re experts too when it comes to dealing with the cold. I feel like I can now survive in the wilderness thanks to their advice!

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Ron Nolan of Nolan’s Hardwood Toys was my other favorite crafter. He hand carves every single one of his delightful toys and has been doing so for the past 32 years. His toys are the sort that can be passed from one generation to another. I couldn’t resist buying a couple as gifts!

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When I had a bit of time, I had to go check out the reindeer who came out to visit the Markt. I had never been so close to one before. Impressive antlers huh?
Interesting fact about reindeer– their natural enemy is the wolf and they look at all dogs, even littlest ones, as a wolf!

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The kids has fun riding the horse drawn carriage too!

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All in all an unforgettable show!

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Preparing for the Winter Markt

| Craft show

Hello friends, today I thought I’d show you some snapshots of what I’m preparing for the upcoming Winter Markt …

A clutch of beautiful violet foil glass beads

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Some irresistible wedding cake beads… I think I’m going to make a demi- parure out of these beauties …

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And I’m almost done with the trade beads from yesterday. Just matter of small adjustments here and there…

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Exciting times ahead!!

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Winter Markt

| Craft show, Events

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Hello friends, I’m very excited to announce our biggest market yet—the Birmingham Winter Markt this coming weekend– from the 6th to the 8th of December. This is a wonderful European style holiday market that has something for the whole family. There will be a range of carefully selected handmade goods for the discriminating shoppers, horse drawn carriage rides and caroling by different group, to name just a few of the things going in at the Markt.
I’m busy preparing loads of gorgeous new jewelry that will make the perfect gifts for the special people in your life!
For the complete list of events and details of the Markt, please consult the site.
Hope to see you all there!!!

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Craft show preparations

| Craft show

Apologies friends for the silence but I’ve been busy preparing for the Royal Oak Arts and Craft Holiday Fair. This is going to be a huge show with a wide selection of handmade gifts. Since we are getting close to the holidays, I’ve been preparing lots of pretty things that would make perfect presents under the tree. Hope to see you there !!

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Craft show finds

| Craft show

One of the nicest things about doing craft shows is meeting so many talented and creative individuals. I’ve never been to a show where I didn’t meet anyone that I thought was really cool. I thought it’d be nice to feature them here in the blog so that you dear friends, could meet them too.
Just this weekend, I met two people whose works are crafty, creative and just plain cool.

Jamie of skoolsnaps
makes great gift items from school themed alphabet photography. I don’t know about you but it’s hard to find the right gift for teachers. And I think these would make such nice presents for them. As I sit and write this, I’m thinking they’d make nice presents for people you normally have a hard time giving gifts to since they’re customizable. Oh and if you do meet Jamie, ask her to tell you the story of her vintage luggage!

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Scott of fatcatimages on the other hand, features Lego figures in his photos. Yes, you read that right–Lego figures and he makes amazing photo scenes with them. They’re funny and playful and one of them is really sweet and tender. You have to check out his site to see what I mean as I’m not sure my pictures convey their whimsical charm.

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I can’t wait to meet other people in the next craft shows!

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Crafting with Grace show recap

| Craft show

When I opened the door to go out to the craft show at Ann Arbor last Saturday, I was greeted by sheets of pouring rain. I tell you, driving in the pouring rain is no fun. I had a moment of apprehension when I realized that I had missed a crucial turn because of the rain. Fortunately I was able to make my way and I arrived safely albeit a bit late to set up for the show. I had barely finished when the first group of shoppers arrived!
I really appreciated the show organizers efforts to help the crafters. It’s so rare that there are people to help you unload your things and even more rare to be offered water, juice and snacks during the day. All this plus everyone was really nice! This certainly helped me during the day!
When I had a calm moment, I took a quick look around and as always I found interesting individuals.
One lady actually brought her own bobbin so she could work on her hand spun yarn. I’ve never actually seen yarn being spun before and it was a treat to see an expert. Her yarn was so smooth, I’m sure knitters would have a great time using it to make beautiful things!

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Here is a sample of her yarn

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Another crafter blows her own glass to make ornaments, vases and glasses. Aren’t they pretty Christmas ornaments? You can find more of her work through her website http://www.dianesbaubles.com

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Another stand I found completely lovely was by a lady who creates new things with rescued and found objects. She paints and makes collages to tell a story out of old things. Her things were whimsical and utterly lovely. To see more of her work, visit her etsy shop SimplyJoyToo.

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Perhaps the stand that surprised me the most was this one. I thought they were children’s clothes but they are actually doggie clothes!

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Preparing for Ann Arbor

| Craft show

Hello friends, hope your week is off to a great start! I’m hard at work preparing for a big show on Saturday at Ann Arbor. Im super excited to join their roster of carefully selected artists and I can’t wait to unveil all my pieces!

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