Tag Archives: artisan market

By Falling Down

Those who know me might be surprised to know that my husband and I practised martial arts for a while. If you lived next door to us during our first year of marriage you may have caught site of us in full combat gear, throwing punches and kicks at one another in the backyard, or walking down the street to the dojang carrying our bags of weaponry.

Why do I bring this up? Because my martial arts teacher had a saying, one which I can never remember correctly, but one which I think back to time and time again. It was something along the lines of “by falling down, we learn to get back up again”. I have thought about this saying during various trials in my life, both great and small. By falling (or failing) I learn to get back up again (rise above challenges) and each time I fall, it gets a bit easier to get up. Rising above does not necessarily mean I eventually succeed, though sometimes a new approach can lead to success. For me, rising above most often means letting go of the negative thoughts which failure so easily leads me to. I struggle with this. When I fail I tend to be a nasty wretch to myself. I say “you suck”, “you can’t do anything right”, “you should just give up” etc.

This is the trap I am in right now. I am writing this post as a tool to help me get back on my feet mentally. I took part in another Artisan Market and the honest truth is that in five hours I did not sell a single pillow. Right away my mind turns ugly on itself. I feel discouraged. I feel like I wasted my time and that I didn’t sell anything because my pillows are terrible. Let me claim some truth now. It was not a waste of time. I bought some gorgeous presents from other vendors. I met some really nice people and had enjoyable conversations. I got to treat myself to delicious meals that I didn’t have to lift a finger to make. I got to show off my beautiful pillows. This is the truth.

See for yourself. Here are some of my favourites that I recently made for the fair. They should be up on my etsy shop by the end of the month.

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The silk floral fabric is Armani

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This pillow is made out of left over fabric from a shower curtain I made.

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This pillow is reversible (see other side below)

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I love how unique and beautiful the “wrong” side of a fabric can be.

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Filed under DIY Projects, From the Heart: Thoughts on Life and Family, In the Royal City, Mental Health

Local Artisans Deck the Halls

I realized recently that I’m not great at following up on events I mention in blog posts. For instance, the chair I created for Chairs for Charity got auctioned off like two months ago, and it did well on the auction block.

And so, for the sake of keeping a bit more up-t0-date, I wanted to talk a bit about the Artisan Market I participated in last weekend. Due to the fact that is was the weekend following “black Friday” it wasn’t a very busy day for the vendors but it was an excellent time to meet new people and catch glimpses of students from the Vancouver Circus School flying through the air (really, there is a circus school on the second floor of the River Market. I’m totally signing Sofia up when she turns 4.)

Despite by recurrent nightmare that I would not sell any pillows, I was able to sell a grand total of six (I had made like 30…a bit over-zealous). It might not seem like much but it was a very affirming experience for me to sell that many on a slow day. As well, I was invited to sell some of my pillows at the New Westminster Christmas Treasury, located in Queen’s Park, where they display and sell locally crafted items from December 1-23rd.

I had a hard time setting up my display because I had made so many. Less than half of my inventory is up on that table.

I had a hard time setting up my display because I had made so many. Less than half of my inventory is up on that table.

The pillow with the funky blue and green floral is one of my favorite new patterns from Robert Allen.

The pillow with the funky blue and green floral is one of my favorite new patterns from Robert Allen.

I was also selling a small variety of craft and sewing books.

I was also selling a small variety of craft and sewing books.

In addition to selling, the slowness of the day allowed me to do a significant amount of browsing and buying. Some old favorites from the Curious Flea were there including sketcher Won Kang who has branched out and is now selling some tote bags and funky wrapping paper with his sketches on them.

Sketch by Won Kang of Sinclair Centre in Vancouver

Sketch by Won Kang of Sinclair Centre in Vancouver

Wrapping paper by Won Kang. But who would want to rip it?

Wrapping paper by Won Kang. But who would want to rip it?

Tote bag commemorating Copps Shoes in New Westminster which recently burnt to the ground.

Tote bag commemorating Copp’s Shoes in New Westminster which recently burnt to the ground.

Some new favorite vendors I was introduced to at this Artisan Market include “Get Thee to the Nunnery” where I bought some precious and inexpensive fabric wreaths. They also sell beautiful earrings and stationary (shown below).

Christmas Stationary by artist Krista Gibbard.

Christmas Stationary by artist Krista Gibbard.

There were¬† also many vendors selling impressive jewelry.¬† I directed my mom and mother-in-law to Bead for Life for beautiful beaded jewelry, handmade by women in Africa, and to Kathy Hart’s stand where she sells stunning bracelets made from vintage silver spoons (not shown).

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Examples of some beautiful beaded necklaces.

If you are beginning to feel like you missed out, you will be happy to know that there is another artisan market being held at the River market on December 14th and 15th from 12-5pm. I will be participating on the 15th and look forward to seeing what it is like when the artisans take over both floors of the market.

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Pillow Talk

Tomorrow, weeks of hard work, messy house, and poor meals are about to come to a conclusion (and henceforth I shall be relaxed, have a pristine house, and cook five star meals. Ha. Ha. Ha.) Saturday, November 30, 2013, from 12 noon until 5pm I will be participating in my first artisan market at the New Westminster River Market. I have been sewing up a storm working with gorgeous designer fabrics to create beautiful pillows, or “couch art”, as I like to think of them, to sell at the market.

I expected to feel nervous about tomorrow: it’s in my nature to be anxious when committing to new ventures, however, I can’t wait! Whether I sell much or not (my dear mom has promised to buy a couple of pillows), I am looking forward to the experience of meeting new people, both shoppers and other artisans.

My sister is a talented photographer and was gracious enough to do a bit of a “photo shoot” with some of my pillows. This is a small sampling of what I have made but it shows you a bit of the variety:

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The pillows all come with inserts and range from $20-$40 depending on the fabric used. I also picked up some sweet DIY and sewing books to sell at my table which I will be selling for less than suggested retail value.

Whether or not you need some new pillows or other hand-crafted items, stop by and have a gander. I’d love to chat and it is a great way to show your love for local artisans, even if only with your interest. If nothing else, the cinnamon buns sold at the river market bakery will make it worth your trip!
Hope to see you there!

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Filed under DIY Projects, In the Royal City