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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My First Show in my new Hometown

I just got confirmation....I'll be participating in my first craft show in Kamloops, BC - the Royal Inland Hospital Christmas Craft-a-Fair! Can't wait to attend and it's a fundraiser for a good cause too!

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Let the Craft Fairs Begin!

It's September (yeah, already) and soon the Fall/Christmas craft fair season will be here. For those of us who take our creations to shows and sell directly to our customers, it's an exciting time and a scary time too. It's exciting because you get to see first hand how your new creations are received (or not) by your customers. It can also be scary, because even if you've participated in the same show for a few years and you already "know" what to expect, after you've done this a few years you discover that you really never know what to expect! LOL

I started selling at craft fairs in 1996. Since I make mostly Christmas items, my main selling season usually runs from September until the end of November. After all these years of selling at shows, I've been really fortunate to have had only two really terrible shows i.e. poor attendance/low sales. Not bad for 14 year in business!

Now that we've moved family and business for the second time in 14 years, it's really like starting my business all over again from scratch. I've never been to any shows/fairs here in Kamloops so I have no idea what to expect. I only know of one show here so far and I applied to get into it, but I don't know which shows are good and which ones to avoid. I have no idea who my competition is here, if I have competition here, and I don't know what sells well here and what doesn't. Hmmm.....this is going to be interesting! LOL

Happy Crafting!
Cheryl

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm selling on Ebay - finally!!

Well, I finally got up enough courage to post some giftware auctions on Ebay! I've toyed with it off and on many years now (try 8) and I just thought - go for it! Check them out here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280385719290&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

I posted 5 auctions a week ago and one actually sold! Yeah! I may try an Ebay store too, since it's free for the first month and it's cheaper than my current site. Yes, there are fees to selling on Ebay, but I figure that's a small price to pay for all the extra advertising they do and the traffic they get, which is much more than my website gets. I'm finding that there are things that I'd like to be able to do on my site that I can't because it's a "built" site. Good to start with but now I want more!

I don't really have the time to do my own site from scratch right now though. I'm currently home schooling my 16 year old daughter and I have a 4 year old son at home too, so time is at a premium. In case you are wondering...that's a 12 year gap between kids and yes, my husband and I are the birth parents of both kids. It's really a very funny story about two miracles, but I'll leave that one for another post! LOL

But I digress....back to the craft table!!!

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Doing my part to support artistic endeavours!

I have to admit that I don't always work on my craft projects "in" my studio. Of course, that's the ideal place for creating, because it's all set up again and everything I need (hopefully) is in there. Also, having a dedicated studio space means I can just shut the door when I'm finished and leave everything where it is and return to it later (this is a definite bonus!!)

Sometimes though, I do like to sit in front of the tv and paint (prep, sand, etc). One of my favourite shows is "So You Think You Can Dance" (season finale started last night) and "So You Think You Can Dance Canada." I just love this show and I must say that the calibre of dancers this season has been phenomenal - what a tough competition this year! I even got my husband hooked on it so we've both been watching this time around.

Obviously, being a craftsperson, I'm all in favour of supporting artistic endeavours, whatever they may be. What I truly love about this show, other than I find it terrifically entertaining, is that the judges are so supportive of the dancers while they are critiquing them. With all the so called "reality shows" on now and the emphasis on shock value, drama and controversy, I find it refreshing and wonderful to see professionals provide constructive commentary to hopefully help these dancers improve and flourish. This is an incredible learning opportunity for them. Whether they make it to the final and ultimately win or not doesn't really matter in the end. The whole season of dancing is like a visual resume for each one of them and these dancers will definitely find work after the show is over!

Be sure to watch the finale tonight!! Since I'm in Canada I can't vote, but if I could, my vote would go for Jeanine!!! (Well, I like the other three finalists too, but she's my favourite dancer!!)

Here's to more support for the arts!!

Happy Crafting!!

Cheryl

Monday, July 13, 2009

Christmas in July!!

I really love decorating for Christmas, and being a craftsperson who makes items mainly for the Christmas season, it's really looks like Christmas in my Studio all year long! It's not unusual for me to be making snowmen when it's hot outside either.

For the past 15 years we've lived in the East Kootenays (Cranbrook and Golden, BC). While it would get hot in the summer at times, being at higher elevations and in or near the mountains it usually cools off at night, which is nice. Now that we're here in Kamloops, BC, it gets REALLY hot in the summertime (this is semi-arid desert country here) and often doesn't really cool off much at night either (22 degrees Celcius (71.6F) at 7:00 am isn't cooled off in my book!) Lately we've had temperatures in the high 30's - like 38 degrees Celcius every day. That's 100 degrees Fahrenheit by the way! Ugh!

While I don't know if I'll ever get used to the heat here (opening the door to go outside is like walking into a blast furnace at that temperature!), at least our new home has central air conditioning. So it's always nice inside the house even if it's stinkin' hot outside! So, while I've been working away creating snowmen and other winter items this summer, I haven't been melting while I'm doing it! I'm really spoiled now!

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

Monday, June 15, 2009

STUDIO SETUP IS COMPLETE!!


Well, I'm finally finished setting up my studio and now I can get back to work creating my giftware again! It's amazing the amount of tools and supplies a person can accumulate over the course of 14 years of operating a business. Yes, I do have a LOT of stuff, and I couldn't get everything into my new studio because it's actually a smaller space than I had before, but I think I did a pretty good job. It's still a work in progress though and as I work in there I'll move things around if I need to. And even if I don't really need to, I know I will move it around anyway because I like change!




Now that I've gotten to this point, there is still work to do. There are boxes to re-label and new stock lists to create. And then there's the dreaded inventory to take - but at least I know where everything is now! Hey, I even found things I forgot I had, so even though it's been a lot of work moving all this stuff, it's been helpful too. Nothing like a move to make you get organized!


Trying to fit all this stuff into a smaller workspace was a challenge. Some of the storage items I've used in the past just wouldn't work in here, so I had to improvise. That's probably what took the longest getting this space set up - having to keep changing things around because my original set up idea had to be modified a few times. I even changed rooms after I got started because this room was a bit larger! Ugh! Now that I've finished it I think this will work out good for now though, but I guess time will tell!
HAPPY CRAFTING!!





Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mission Accomplished...Move is Complete!

Our move went well and we're settling in nicely here in Kamloops, BC. It is very strange to be living here after spending the last 15 years in the Kootenays, but we are finding that although the "mountains" here don't compare to anything where we used to live, they do possess have their own special beauty.

My studio space is coming along nicely as well (although slowly) and it will be great to get back to creating again, which I haven't been able to do for the past nine months now since we started this newest moving adventure! I also have a LOT of things to re-organize and put away right now but once that's finished I can get back at it!

We are loving our new house so far - it's the newest and largest home we've ever owned (and this is home #5 since 1989). We were really lucky to find it! It is nice to have studio space "in" the house again too. My last space was built in the back of our detached garage and although it was a nice, large, heated space with it's own entrance, I found it hard to be working out there and constantly running back and forth to the house - seems I can't remove the "Mom" hat for even a few minutes! I still have a dedicated room for my studio, but this set up should be more convenient for all of us and I can still close the door and not have to pack my work up when I'm done!

If you've ever moved, you know how challenging it can be. Getting settled in (especially if you have kids), finding where everything is (inside your house and in your new hometown), meeting new people, changing services, etc. When you have a business to move as well, it does set you back a bit, especially when you change cities, because you almost always lose most if not all of your local customers (fair/sale shoppers you've gotten to know). It's really like starting a new business all over again, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at things. I'm a "glass half full" type of person however, so change doesn't scare me. Besides, I'm a Gemini too so I'm changing all the time!! Let's see what changes this move brings!

Happy Crafting!
Cheryl

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Ready, Set....MOVE!!!

Well, my studio is all packed up are we are ready for the movers to come pick up our things in another week and move us all to Kamloops, BC. I can't wait to get into my new home and my new studio space and get organized again! I'm a bit of an organization freak so I'm just itching to get all my stuff re-organized - hopefully it doesn't take too long!

Packing up my business after 5+ years in Golden has been a real eye opener...boy, have I accumulated a LOT of stuff in those 5+ years!! Not only supplies but shelving, props, equipment and adding a son to our family almost 12 years after having our daughter!

If you're in the business of creating things to sell you really need to have your supplies and work space available 24/7 so that you can create when the ideas strike you - and you never know when that will happen. There's nothing worse than having an idea pop into your head and you can't find the supplies you need to make it!!

This is actually the second time I've moved my business since we started it back in 1995 (goodness, has it been that long already?!). I know it's a lot of work to re-establish a business in a new city, but I always find that having to re-organize my space makes me so much more creative. I think that "re-connecting" with all my supplies while I'm putting things away just seems to spark so many ideas. I'm really looking forward to the changes!

Don't forget that our website is still open if you want to check out some of the items we carry - just remember that we won't be filling any orders until March 1st. Until then....

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

Sunday, January 25, 2009

WE ARE FINALLY MOVING!!

Well, I can't believe I posted this information back in September last year and we're now near the end of January 2009 but yes, we are FINALLY moving!

Wouldn't you know it, the global economy takes a nose dive just when we listed our house for sale! That doesn't exactly inspire confidence in home buyers does it? Anyway, we are now happily sold and will be heading to the sunnier climes of Kamloops, BC in mid-February (about 3 weeks from now - Ahhhhh!

There are actually two really good things that have come from waiting all this time. Firstly, while our prices did drop a bit here in Golden, they dropped a lot more in Kamloops, so we were able to find a really great house at a cheaper price than when we first started looking. Secondly, although it was hard having my husband working in Kamloops during the week (home late Friday night, four hour drive minimum, and then heading back after lunch on Sundays) while I stayed behind in Golden with the kids, the cat and the house, I did manage to get a lot of things packed already. So, even though we will be leaving soon, there really isn't a lot of packing left to do now!

Since we will be moving soon and I have no idea how long it will take me to reassemble my studio at our new location, I have decided not to accept any orders for the month of February. Our website is still open but any orders placed during the month of February will not be filled until March 1, 2009 when we will be back to business. Thanks for your understanding!

Happy Crafting!
Cheryl Bux, Owner/Designer
Favourite Things Gift Studio

My First Show in my new Hometown

I just got confirmation....I'll be participating in my first craft show in Kamloops, BC - the Royal Inland Hospital Christmas Craft-a-Fair! Can't wait to attend and it's a fundraiser for a good cause too!

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

Let the Craft Fairs Begin!

It's September (yeah, already) and soon the Fall/Christmas craft fair season will be here. For those of us who take our creations to shows and sell directly to our customers, it's an exciting time and a scary time too. It's exciting because you get to see first hand how your new creations are received (or not) by your customers. It can also be scary, because even if you've participated in the same show for a few years and you already "know" what to expect, after you've done this a few years you discover that you really never know what to expect! LOL

I started selling at craft fairs in 1996. Since I make mostly Christmas items, my main selling season usually runs from September until the end of November. After all these years of selling at shows, I've been really fortunate to have had only two really terrible shows i.e. poor attendance/low sales. Not bad for 14 year in business!

Now that we've moved family and business for the second time in 14 years, it's really like starting my business all over again from scratch. I've never been to any shows/fairs here in Kamloops so I have no idea what to expect. I only know of one show here so far and I applied to get into it, but I don't know which shows are good and which ones to avoid. I have no idea who my competition is here, if I have competition here, and I don't know what sells well here and what doesn't. Hmmm.....this is going to be interesting! LOL

Happy Crafting!
Cheryl

I'm selling on Ebay - finally!!

Well, I finally got up enough courage to post some giftware auctions on Ebay! I've toyed with it off and on many years now (try 8) and I just thought - go for it! Check them out here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=280385719290&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT

I posted 5 auctions a week ago and one actually sold! Yeah! I may try an Ebay store too, since it's free for the first month and it's cheaper than my current site. Yes, there are fees to selling on Ebay, but I figure that's a small price to pay for all the extra advertising they do and the traffic they get, which is much more than my website gets. I'm finding that there are things that I'd like to be able to do on my site that I can't because it's a "built" site. Good to start with but now I want more!

I don't really have the time to do my own site from scratch right now though. I'm currently home schooling my 16 year old daughter and I have a 4 year old son at home too, so time is at a premium. In case you are wondering...that's a 12 year gap between kids and yes, my husband and I are the birth parents of both kids. It's really a very funny story about two miracles, but I'll leave that one for another post! LOL

But I digress....back to the craft table!!!

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

Doing my part to support artistic endeavours!

I have to admit that I don't always work on my craft projects "in" my studio. Of course, that's the ideal place for creating, because it's all set up again and everything I need (hopefully) is in there. Also, having a dedicated studio space means I can just shut the door when I'm finished and leave everything where it is and return to it later (this is a definite bonus!!)

Sometimes though, I do like to sit in front of the tv and paint (prep, sand, etc). One of my favourite shows is "So You Think You Can Dance" (season finale started last night) and "So You Think You Can Dance Canada." I just love this show and I must say that the calibre of dancers this season has been phenomenal - what a tough competition this year! I even got my husband hooked on it so we've both been watching this time around.

Obviously, being a craftsperson, I'm all in favour of supporting artistic endeavours, whatever they may be. What I truly love about this show, other than I find it terrifically entertaining, is that the judges are so supportive of the dancers while they are critiquing them. With all the so called "reality shows" on now and the emphasis on shock value, drama and controversy, I find it refreshing and wonderful to see professionals provide constructive commentary to hopefully help these dancers improve and flourish. This is an incredible learning opportunity for them. Whether they make it to the final and ultimately win or not doesn't really matter in the end. The whole season of dancing is like a visual resume for each one of them and these dancers will definitely find work after the show is over!

Be sure to watch the finale tonight!! Since I'm in Canada I can't vote, but if I could, my vote would go for Jeanine!!! (Well, I like the other three finalists too, but she's my favourite dancer!!)

Here's to more support for the arts!!

Happy Crafting!!

Cheryl

Christmas in July!!

I really love decorating for Christmas, and being a craftsperson who makes items mainly for the Christmas season, it's really looks like Christmas in my Studio all year long! It's not unusual for me to be making snowmen when it's hot outside either.

For the past 15 years we've lived in the East Kootenays (Cranbrook and Golden, BC). While it would get hot in the summer at times, being at higher elevations and in or near the mountains it usually cools off at night, which is nice. Now that we're here in Kamloops, BC, it gets REALLY hot in the summertime (this is semi-arid desert country here) and often doesn't really cool off much at night either (22 degrees Celcius (71.6F) at 7:00 am isn't cooled off in my book!) Lately we've had temperatures in the high 30's - like 38 degrees Celcius every day. That's 100 degrees Fahrenheit by the way! Ugh!

While I don't know if I'll ever get used to the heat here (opening the door to go outside is like walking into a blast furnace at that temperature!), at least our new home has central air conditioning. So it's always nice inside the house even if it's stinkin' hot outside! So, while I've been working away creating snowmen and other winter items this summer, I haven't been melting while I'm doing it! I'm really spoiled now!

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

STUDIO SETUP IS COMPLETE!!


Well, I'm finally finished setting up my studio and now I can get back to work creating my giftware again! It's amazing the amount of tools and supplies a person can accumulate over the course of 14 years of operating a business. Yes, I do have a LOT of stuff, and I couldn't get everything into my new studio because it's actually a smaller space than I had before, but I think I did a pretty good job. It's still a work in progress though and as I work in there I'll move things around if I need to. And even if I don't really need to, I know I will move it around anyway because I like change!




Now that I've gotten to this point, there is still work to do. There are boxes to re-label and new stock lists to create. And then there's the dreaded inventory to take - but at least I know where everything is now! Hey, I even found things I forgot I had, so even though it's been a lot of work moving all this stuff, it's been helpful too. Nothing like a move to make you get organized!


Trying to fit all this stuff into a smaller workspace was a challenge. Some of the storage items I've used in the past just wouldn't work in here, so I had to improvise. That's probably what took the longest getting this space set up - having to keep changing things around because my original set up idea had to be modified a few times. I even changed rooms after I got started because this room was a bit larger! Ugh! Now that I've finished it I think this will work out good for now though, but I guess time will tell!
HAPPY CRAFTING!!





Mission Accomplished...Move is Complete!

Our move went well and we're settling in nicely here in Kamloops, BC. It is very strange to be living here after spending the last 15 years in the Kootenays, but we are finding that although the "mountains" here don't compare to anything where we used to live, they do possess have their own special beauty.

My studio space is coming along nicely as well (although slowly) and it will be great to get back to creating again, which I haven't been able to do for the past nine months now since we started this newest moving adventure! I also have a LOT of things to re-organize and put away right now but once that's finished I can get back at it!

We are loving our new house so far - it's the newest and largest home we've ever owned (and this is home #5 since 1989). We were really lucky to find it! It is nice to have studio space "in" the house again too. My last space was built in the back of our detached garage and although it was a nice, large, heated space with it's own entrance, I found it hard to be working out there and constantly running back and forth to the house - seems I can't remove the "Mom" hat for even a few minutes! I still have a dedicated room for my studio, but this set up should be more convenient for all of us and I can still close the door and not have to pack my work up when I'm done!

If you've ever moved, you know how challenging it can be. Getting settled in (especially if you have kids), finding where everything is (inside your house and in your new hometown), meeting new people, changing services, etc. When you have a business to move as well, it does set you back a bit, especially when you change cities, because you almost always lose most if not all of your local customers (fair/sale shoppers you've gotten to know). It's really like starting a new business all over again, which can be good or bad depending on how you look at things. I'm a "glass half full" type of person however, so change doesn't scare me. Besides, I'm a Gemini too so I'm changing all the time!! Let's see what changes this move brings!

Happy Crafting!
Cheryl

Ready, Set....MOVE!!!

Well, my studio is all packed up are we are ready for the movers to come pick up our things in another week and move us all to Kamloops, BC. I can't wait to get into my new home and my new studio space and get organized again! I'm a bit of an organization freak so I'm just itching to get all my stuff re-organized - hopefully it doesn't take too long!

Packing up my business after 5+ years in Golden has been a real eye opener...boy, have I accumulated a LOT of stuff in those 5+ years!! Not only supplies but shelving, props, equipment and adding a son to our family almost 12 years after having our daughter!

If you're in the business of creating things to sell you really need to have your supplies and work space available 24/7 so that you can create when the ideas strike you - and you never know when that will happen. There's nothing worse than having an idea pop into your head and you can't find the supplies you need to make it!!

This is actually the second time I've moved my business since we started it back in 1995 (goodness, has it been that long already?!). I know it's a lot of work to re-establish a business in a new city, but I always find that having to re-organize my space makes me so much more creative. I think that "re-connecting" with all my supplies while I'm putting things away just seems to spark so many ideas. I'm really looking forward to the changes!

Don't forget that our website is still open if you want to check out some of the items we carry - just remember that we won't be filling any orders until March 1st. Until then....

Happy Crafting!

Cheryl

WE ARE FINALLY MOVING!!

Well, I can't believe I posted this information back in September last year and we're now near the end of January 2009 but yes, we are FINALLY moving!

Wouldn't you know it, the global economy takes a nose dive just when we listed our house for sale! That doesn't exactly inspire confidence in home buyers does it? Anyway, we are now happily sold and will be heading to the sunnier climes of Kamloops, BC in mid-February (about 3 weeks from now - Ahhhhh!

There are actually two really good things that have come from waiting all this time. Firstly, while our prices did drop a bit here in Golden, they dropped a lot more in Kamloops, so we were able to find a really great house at a cheaper price than when we first started looking. Secondly, although it was hard having my husband working in Kamloops during the week (home late Friday night, four hour drive minimum, and then heading back after lunch on Sundays) while I stayed behind in Golden with the kids, the cat and the house, I did manage to get a lot of things packed already. So, even though we will be leaving soon, there really isn't a lot of packing left to do now!

Since we will be moving soon and I have no idea how long it will take me to reassemble my studio at our new location, I have decided not to accept any orders for the month of February. Our website is still open but any orders placed during the month of February will not be filled until March 1, 2009 when we will be back to business. Thanks for your understanding!

Happy Crafting!
Cheryl Bux, Owner/Designer
Favourite Things Gift Studio