Craft show this weekend!

It’s so nice to know that in the depths of winter, during the post-Christmas slump (when sales always come to a screeching halt), our local community is still supportive of us makers.

Saturday I will be selling my wares at the Living Room coffee shop, the most adorable place in Valley Junction. Stop by, if you get a chance! You can see some of my new goodies in the Etsy display to the left.

Reflections on 2009

Despite parts of this year being pretty awful (I keep hearing people say they can’t wait for it to be over), this has been one of the most enlightening years of my life. I guess I thought that by the time I finished college I would know who I really was, but the truth is most of that education has come in my later 20s, and especially this past year.

I learned that it was possible for me to do what I loved. But that making it profitable was a much bigger challenge.

I learned I could teach Nia, and that there was an exercise that was right for me, and my body. I’m so grateful for that.

I got engaged to someone who truly loves me for me. And I’m pretty grateful for that, too.

I learned an incredible amount about how to run a crafty business, and saw it start to thrive by the end of the year. The business part was pretty humbling at times, and I had to start over on some projects more times than I’d care to admit. But I feel so much more confident now, and ready to grow Mary Marie even more.

I admitted to myself what I truly wanted to do with my life. And I realized that some things I thought I wanted to do, I didn’t want to do at all. Maybe I just thought I was supposed to. Regardless, I have to keep telling myself to stay on the right path, and close some doors so that others can open.

I spent a lot of time musing about the future. Mike and I had a lot of heart-to-hearts. We know we want to make some changes, but we’re not sure how it will play out yet. We thought we’d tackle the whole wedding thing first.

And about that. Though I’ve had world’s longest engagement, I still felt the many pressures to get caught up in wedding planning to the point of insanity, and I never let it happen. So far, it’s been fun (sans the budget part… OMG). And thanks to A Practical Wedding, I know it can still be fun, down to the last stressful minutes.

2009 was also a good year for this little blog. I remember how excited I was the first time I checked Google Reader and discovered I had 11 subscribers. Whoever they were, I love them for that. And whoever’s still reading, thanks for continuing to support me.

So here’s to more lessons in 2010. I’ll be celebrating the new year with a sushi dinner and night out at the Des Moines Social Club. And then, who knows. So many big things are set to happen in 2010 (the wedding, turning 30, watching some of my closest friends tie the knot, too), I can’t imagine it being just another year.

Candle sale!

All this month I’m having a candle sale at the Family Tree, the yoga studio where I teach Nia. All candles are 25 percent off, including holiday scents (hollyberry, pumpkin spice, cinnamon and praline pecan). Those are in jars, and then I also have regular scents (apple, green tea, white tea & ginger, sage & lemongrass, citrus basil, coffee, and some aromatherapy) in clear glasses and tins.

Bigger containers are $10.50, from $14, and smaller ones/tins are $7.50 from $10. If you would like one at the sale price but don’t think you can get to the Tree, shoot me an e-mail (notcarol@gmail.com) and I can get it to you. These would make great holiday gifts!

One down, two to go

Last weekend’s Green Gifts Fair was so fantastic, I was a little blown away. I always wonder if the economic downturn will keep people from buying handmade (it’s not like I don’t know that you can get adorable gifts for a lot less money at Target, etc.). But then people come out in droves to these shows and it gives me a bit of the warm and fuzzies. So, thank you to everyone who came out last weekend.

This weekend is Craft Saturday, which I’m also very excited about. Details are a couple posts down. Posting will be light over the next couple weeks as I prepare for this, Market Day, and Thanksgiving with my family. I don’t have Mike to help me either, as he’s on a business trip to Denmark.

Though I’m working more at my temp job in December, I hope to have some more tutorials, and perhaps some cookie recipes posted next month…

Here’s a peek from Etsy at some of the knitted goodies I’ll have on Saturday:

Commence craft fair season

Wow, is November a busy month for craft fairs. My first is on Sunday, and it’s a new one! Check out the Green Gifts Fair at the Des Moines Social Club.

Then on Nov. 21 comes Craft Saturday, which is always full of great vendors around holiday time.

And finally, as an alternative to the big box Black Friday madness, Market Day will be held the day after Thanksgiving with longer hours.

I will have LOTS of knit and crochet accessories, plus my usual magnets and thumbtacks and candles (with new scents, including my favorite, white tea and ginger).

At the Green Gifts Fair I will also be selling gift certificates to the Family Tree, which can be used for yoga, Nia, massage and other classes. If you want to get some holiday shopping out of the way early, this is your chance!

Market Day, and it’s a rummage sale

If you’re out and about in Des Moines today, come visit me at Market Day. In addition to the regular handmade crafts and artwork, this sale has longer hours and is also a rummage sale. I’ll definitely have a shelf full of cheapie goodies.

Here are the deets:

Market Day
Hours: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Where: Market Street Media Foundry, 118 SE 4th St. in Des Moines
What I’ll have: knit and crochet scarves and a few other accessories, cup cozies, scrubbers, magnets, thumb tacks, vintage housewares and a shelf of craft leftovers and vintage sewing notions.

Hope to see you there!

Getting ready for Market Day

My fingers are knitting as fast as they can go for my first craft fair of the season, Market Day. Here’s the info:

Saturday, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Market Street Media Foundry, 118 SE 4th St. in Des Moines
handmade crafts, artwork, vintage and more

I will have knit and crochet items, magnets, thumb tacks, hair clips, recycled wax candles and vintage housewares. There will be some amazing vendors there, so please stop by if you get a chance!

You wouldn’t want to miss my first pom-pom hats…

Up to my ears in vintage

The Mary Marie shop is absolutely bursting with vintage finds lately. Here’s a peek:

I’m still devoted to my handmade wares, but this journey into vintage has taken me a lot farther than I ever expected to go, and I love it. There’s so much out there just waiting to be found, so many things that have withstood the test of time and will still fit just right into someone’s modern decor.

I think there’s a lot more I can do besides selling a few things on Etsy, but that remains to be seen. For now, I’m just learning all I can and having a ball thrifting.

The sign, finished

I had quite a few craft fails getting up to this point. I had originally based this project on a giant logo with black words and multicolored buttons in the background. But since I stole all of the red and green buttons out of my stash for last year’s button wreaths, my multicolored buttons were looking mostly gray and brown.

So I headed to Michael’s to buy some more, and of course, they were completely out. Hancock Fabrics across the street was closed, but JoAnn finally came through with two packages of colored buttons.

When I got home I started arranging them, which was a very time-consuming process. At first I decided the colors were too bright, so I removed a bunch of pink and orange buttons to make it more subdued. Once I did that Mike announced that he couldn’t read the words. Gah!

So I took out all the multicolored buttons and replaced them with white. And since the board was looking a little empty at the top and bottom I added my tagline and my name to fill it in.

And after all that work… I still didn’t like it.

It was a tough decision, but I realized the project wasn’t worth doing if I didn’t love the final product, so I plucked off all the buttons, one-by-one. It finally occurred to me that what was wrong was the background. It was just too plain, and since a tapestry of buttons made it unreadable, I needed cool paper instead. I dug through my stash of Martha Stewart wrapping paper I got on clearance and found just the right pattern.

A-ha!

So after buying all those buttons, I only ended up using a few, but oh well. I have the cute and kitschy sign I wanted, and I’m feeling ready to tackle the many, many craft fairs that are going on this fall. Even last year there was only really one that appealed to my demographic, but now I can hardly keep up with all the emails about new craft fairs. This makes me very, very happy.

And the big announcement is…

My knits have a new home!

I’ve thought for a while that all the items I knit or crochet don’t really fit into the “recycled and rescued” philosophy of my Etsy shop, so I decided to give them their own shop, Mary Marie Knits.

As Mike can tell you, I have a real passion for knitting, and I love experimenting with new designs that are both stylish and useful.

So please check it out when you get a chance. I have so many goodies just in time for fall and winter, and lots more to come.