i know i said my next post would be the tutorial to make this dress, but i sort of get the feeling nobody’s really *clamoring* for it, so i’m deviating a bit from the plan here to catch you all up on what has totally taken over my life for the past few weeks.  i have long been dragging my feet on turning out art fair inventory, mostly because i am a total novice and unsure of what to even make!  many artists probably go into these things with existing inventory, or at least a clear idea of who they are and what they do.  i have none of these things.  there has thus been a lot of this in the past few months:



and this: IMG_0365


more of this:


(that pup is swatch of mood fabric fame, btw).  also, why am i so challenged at holding a tiny camera phone that my finger is in half these pictures?


(rows upon rows of liberty at b&j fabrics)

then more of this:IMG_0395



and eventually this:IMG_0397  IMG_0399  IMG_0414

and now towers of fabric all around me giving me heart palpitations.  i’m not a stasher, i’m a user, and i have such a gigantic stash right now, i feel like i need to hire rumplestiltsken to help me get the job done.

nani iro brushed cotton and linen quilted wristlet
coin purses
coin purses…great scrap buster, more to come! also, why is it so hard to make a pattern for something so easy?
tote bags

because i have really no idea what to expect–who will shop, what they might buy, forms of competition, nothing–i resolved to cast a very wide net and just make a few of several things at several price points.  i committed to art fair because i felt i needed the firm deadline/kick in the pants to really get focussed and see if selling is something i want to incorporate into my crafting.  it all feels quite presumptuous since i’ve never sold anything, and while a lot of people urge me to, or promise they would buy, i wonder how that translates into actual sales… we soon shall see!

birch organic whole cloth baby quilts–still hoping to find time for some patchwork baby quilts!

anyhow, since returning home from nyc, i have been relegated to my sweatshop of one, churning out accessories and home decor items as fast as my fingers will allow while the kids sleep.  i’m also drafting many of my own patterns so as not to violate copyright laws or put bad karma into the crafting community.  when the kids are awake, i’m busy on the knitting needles.  it feels like studying for grad school.  i can remember having an interest in the subject at one time, but each time i come up with a new idea, i beat it into the ground until i can’t stand to look at it anymore.  that’s always been my concern about making art a business venture…what do you do when you get burned out?  if i get burned out in any other area of my life, i do art.  puzzling.

embroidered linen zip pouches
silk pouches
quilted silk and linen zip pouches

you might notice the different quality of photos in this post…one of my blogging resolutions has been to become literate in instagram.  i love the idea of recording daily life through photos, but i’m pretty technologically deficient and frightened of social media.  while i still don’t have a firm grasp of it (haven’t even figured out how to put a picture of myself on my profile…), i have been taking pictures of projects almost daily for the past couple weeks, so if it gets quiet around here, you can keep an eye on me that way.  i currently have a whopping four followers and it really makes my day and keeps me motivated when i get a virtual thumbs up :)

linen + tule dinner napkins, 5 sets of 4
tule flying geese and linen pillows, great tute from cherie here
tule + voile infinity scarves
ipad cases
ipad cases

anyway, this is phase one!  what do you guys think?!  do you like it?  do you hate it?  would you buy it?  dumb question, you all could make it yourselves.  regardless, i’m dying for feedback!  i was also hoping that if i put it all up here, i’d feel motivated by all i’ve accomplished…while not every item is posted, it still looks like a lot less than i feel like i’ve done.  alas.  still so many ideas swimming around in my head…i’ll try to post another update soon!

22 Comments on art fair preview #1

  1. Wow, so much hard work. I really admire you taking on such an endeavour. The napkins are especially my favourite – If I saw those at a market I would buy them for sure! I also love the cushions, this is not something I am motivated to make for myself so I’m happy to pay for someone else’s creative spark! Good luck and keep us posted….

    • thanks, renee! it’s funny–almost everything i’ve made, i’m not sure i would find a use for myself. but i hope other people do! the napkins were supposed to be my high yield project and ended up taking SO long. but i do really like how they turned out. at least the fair is right before xmas, so if things don’t sell i will have plenty of gifts for family… thanks for your instagram love, too!

  2. Hi ash, I do like your stuff! The designs are simple and enjoyable. Make sure to you do have a decent inventory when doing a fair and people usually expect discounts so price accordingly. See you soon!

    • thanks, aar! so nice of you to stop by. discounts?! i’m busting my hump over here–i want to charge $1 million per item. anything less than that, i consider a discount! see you soon :)

  3. Fun, fun, (oh my g-d, overwhelming) fun! Ash, you are doing a great job. Personally, I’m in love with the baby quilts. What about making something like these (http://www.landofnod.com/kids-toy-boxes/kids-storage-and-shelving/landscape-floor-bins/f12125 ) in coordinating fabrics? (yeah, how about I just give you some more work?!) But I think they’d be easy to throw together and might be irresistible displayed side by side. How much more time do you have? Just keep it going girl. You will certainly have some interesting data to streamline your work in the future. xoxo

      • oh jeez. those bins are totally adorable. i actually had fabric bowls on my list (for grownups), but not sure i’ll get to them…art fair is first weekend in december, but my cousin is getting married in a month and i have a kid tux and dress, adult dress and chupa canopy to make…it’s going to set me back some. and i’m on strict fabric fast until i work through some of my crazy stash. we shall see! i have to figure out how to follow on instagram now and find you…finally got a profile picture up though! xoxo

  4. Geez, these are amazing. My current goals is to learn how to sew, my current dream is to make things like these!

    I think you’re amazing.

    • wow, thanks lexi, that’s very kind! you can definitely learn to sew and make things like these. don’t dilly dally, start today. i got my first sewing machine just over a year ago…start now and by xmas next year you’ll be making all your gifts 😉 thanks for stopping by!

  5. wow! look at you go. once I considered doing a craft fair but got overwhelmed. the first one seems the hardest since you don’t know what to expect, but you’ll learn what people are willing to buy and how stingy or not they are.
    you have great taste in fabric and seem to offer some unique stuff. I think you’ll do great. good luck!!! definitely keep us posted on the outcome.
    I just added you on instagram too. (foursquarewalls). it’s a great way to connect more quickly with other bloggers and see what everyone’s up to behind the scenes.

    • i hear you on the overwhelmed. i even coerced my sewing friend to join me, so now we’re both overwhelmed. so nice of me. it’s harder than i anticipated going in blind, but i guess the worst that can happen is we don’t sell anything. eh. not the end of the world. i definitely appreciate the ease of instagram in my current state, like superfast blogging without having to write anything or make it look pretty. i will see you there!

  6. Wow! You’ve been super busy and super productive!! Not knowing what will be the “hot ticket” of the season, I think your approach of various items is a great one. Personally, I think they are all beautiful and would be a great addition to any craft/art fair. If I had to pick my favorites, I love, LOVE the Nani Iro quilted wristlet (oh my- that fabric combo is stunning!), and the embroidered zip pouches. I love the hand embroidery – adds such a great stylistic detail. I wish you the very best of luck with your show! I’ve done a few in the past, and have decided to take a break for awhile as this self-proclaimed introvert finds all the talking quite exhausting:) But I’m sure you’ll love it!

    • thank you, lucinda! yes, so busy! right now that has been a turnoff for me regarding art fairs…it’s making crafting harder to enjoy with such a big deadline. all a part of the learning process! i’m introverted by any definition…i’m not sure how i’m going to cope with art fair and all the chatting, but i have wrangled a fellow introvert to share my booth, and i’m hoping that will provide the necessary moral support. that amazing nani iro brushed cotton is leftover from a beautiful dress she made herself and will wear to art fair–i have to make sure to get a picture of it and our booth to post!

      • oh, please do post a picture! and it’s nice to share the experience with a friend .. . that way you can also take breaks to walk around and check out the other booths.

  7. I feel like I want to start every comment for you with “holy cow!” These are amazing, Ashley! I am especially smitten with the embroidered zip pouches. The arrows are slaying me…

    • thanks, sanae! your mom would be proud of my productivity, right? i could use her around here to help me turn this straw into gold. i was smitten with the embroidered arrows myself for a time! i get tired of things quickly, though…if they don’t sell, you can have your fave :)

  8. Hi, I’ve just come across your blog, yay! I do a lot of sewing for my children, but reading through your blog it’s really inspired me to sew a bit more for me…especially now with summer coming on. I’ve really loved reading what you’ve got to say, you’ve got a great (funny) writing style. I’ll be back again to check out what you make next and see your tutorial for the dress. Good luck with the fair, you’ve sewn some nice things, I’m sure they’ll all sell fast! :)

    • hi there! thank you for these kind words! i have been flying way under the radar lately with all the sewing for art fair, but i should have a few more projects posted soon. i had sort of shelved the dress tutorial because it’s getting cold in this hemisphere…totally forgot it’s warming up for you guys! perhaps it will make an appearance soon! your clothes for your kids are lovely–you should definitely expand into making some items for yourself! thank you for reading and saying hello :)

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