Posts Tagged crafts

Thirty Before 30 Update!

Hi friends! Since I recently turned 29, I decided that I should revisit my “30 before 30 list” which I posted last year, to see if I’ve kept on track and if perhaps I should make any edits… since I only have a year left to go! Eep! I can definitely say that I am not too worried or anxious about turning 30, as a lot of people are. My late twenties have been the happiest time of my life – I’ve taken some big risks, made many tough decisions – all which have led me down the right path and have just let things fall into place naturally! (As lame as that sounds!!!) I love my new home, my full time design job, my crafting bizz, my friends and family… everything is just peachy ❀ I can’t think of anything that I’d like to change… well, maybe I could use a bigger craft room… and a few more cats…. maybe some bigger sunglasses… haha! But that’s about it πŸ™‚

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Happy pants!!!!

Of course life isn’t always filled with sunflowers and blue skies. There have been some rough patches – horrible jobs, health problems (insomnia and stress!), family issues (there was a cancer scare with my pops!), relationship strugglesΒ  – but I guess it wouldn’t be much of a life without a few obstacles to overcome along the way, and to learn and grow from each experience in a positive manner!

I think I’ve really “found myself” or whatever over the past year or so. Or at least found out more about what makes me happy, and what my beliefs and core values are. It’s such a good feeling to have! I hope everyone finds it eventually! πŸ˜€

Whoa, it’s getting a little deep here! Let’s revisit that list before I start getting even more intense! πŸ˜‰
My 30 Things To Do/Accomplish Before I Turn 30

  1. Buy a new car (preferably in lime green.) STILL WORKING ON THIS ONE!
  2. Save enough money for a down payment on a house (after I buy my new car.) Still saving, almost there!
  3. Keep up with a minimum of a dozen craft shows/expos per year. This has changed slightly – I have been doing less shows due to lots more custom orders!
  4. Start selling nerdbiskit in stores – at least 2 or 3! Haven’t looked into this as an option… custom orders and shows keep me busy enough!
  5. Travel to Europe. (Hopefully checking this off the list this May!) DONE! Went to London last May!
  6. Road trip to BC. Possibly next fall, so in my 30th year…
  7. CAT TATTOO! SOON.
  8. Do something awesome for my parents. Send them on vacation somewhere nice. We just spoke about this today! Waiting for Bobblez to heal from his surgery and they will be planning their trip ASAP!
  9. Develop a campaign via nerdbiskit to raise money for my friend’s little bro’s MS charity – most likely involving mustaches. Yep, did this last year and donated part of my 2011 mustache sales!
  10. Seek out more bulk button, keychain & t-shirt orders – figure out how and where to advertise this service! Did some advertising in Missy Ink magazine, and have been getting tons of orders!
  11. Learn how to sew my own dresses and/or skirts. MADE A SKIRT! Dress up next!
  12. Stuff and cook a turkey – Host Thanksgiving dinner! This year!
  13. Start liking/eating fish. (I’m already half way there.) DONE!
  14. Make some new life-long friends (why not? you can never have too many gfs.) Made some new friends, hopefully they will be lifers πŸ™‚
  15. Further my design career. Yep! Got a new job with a design studio and working on my folio!
  16. Put a ring on it. Working on it…
  17. Create some new products to sell for nerdbiskit. YEP! Plush taco pillows!
  18. Find more ways to relax – need to kick this nervous energy & worrying! I have been relatively stress-free for almost a year now!!!! All thanks to some job changes and living arrangements πŸ™‚
  19. Go to a concert – I haven’t been to one in a few years. Went to some free outdoor ones.
  20. Organize/host my own craft show or event. Start a club of some sorts. Hosted a few “Crafternoons” at my place, invited some new crafty ladies to join!
  21. Make more connections at shows or via social media. Always!
  22. Win the lottery. Not yet…
  23. Start illustrating and/or writing a children’s book. Collaborated effort, perhaps? Bah, haven’t had time…
  24. Get back into collaging! Enter a collage piece into American Illustration. Again… timing issues…
  25. Design a website for nerdbiskit. DONE! nerdbiskit.com
  26. Find more one of a kind vintage pieces for my home and redecorate so it’s less Ikea catalogue! I’d also like to paint a wall lime green! Found cool pieces, still need to paint a wall green though!
  27. Learn more about wine and go on a vineyard tour. Vineyard tour planned for this fall!!!
  28. Take a class – life drawing, yoga, small business, marketing, French or web design! NOT YET, but I did find one I’m interested in.
  29. Quit bad habits. (One in particular!!!!) IN PROGRESS
  30. Take over the world with nerdbiskit (or at least be much closer to world domination.) Always!

Hmmm, well I’d say I’m pretty well on track with this after all! I think I’ll add a few more goals:
–Β  Exercise more!

–Β  Start a collection (Vintage tea pots? Creepy cat ornaments?)

– Learn to say NO more often, I don’t have to please everyone!

That’s it for now! I’ll revisit this again after my big 3-0 birthday! πŸ˜€

Ok back to sewing for me! Hope you’re all having a lovely summer!

xo Lisa

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June Blog

Time for my monthly blog update! I’ve been busy as usual since my last post – I moved to Hamilton over the May long weekend and everything went smoothly! It was super fast and easy, and I was grateful for all of the help from family and pals. What a lucky gal I am! It didn’t take long to unpack the boxes and set everything up (we were literally all unpacked by Monday evening, except for a few shelves and wall decorations.) I can’t stand living amid chaos and boxes, so I pretty much didn’t bother sleeping until everything was in it’s place πŸ™‚

It was hard saying goodbye to my retro townie – I loved this place so much, and so did the kitties:

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But it didn’t take long to adjust to the new place, and here are a few of my favourite things/spaces – first up, obviously, the ‘biskit craft room!!! It was already painted a pale pea green which sort of matches with my brand colours – how perfect!

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I also love the peg board in the kitchen (we cook a lot, so this is amazingly convenient):

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I also dig our funky little living room:

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and this super sweet retro brown chair that I picked up for only $7Β  – what a find! The kitties love it, too (which is the most important part):

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New home sweet home ❀ I also love the area we’re in – so many beautiful gardens all around the neighbourhood πŸ™‚ And I’m closer to more of my pals now, too (old and new ones) which is exciting!

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I got some of the sweetest house warming gifts, including this chalkboard photo frame from my friend Miss Tea. We made them together as a super fun craft project, which was the best part:

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And this adorable pom pom plant from Heather – which matches perfectly in the craft room with it’s green & orange:

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Such sweet ladies!

After the move and unpacking were complete, I had to get back to crafting ASAP! May/June are the beginning of wedding season, which is probably the busiest time of year for custom orders (next to Christmas, of course.) Plenty of brides-to-be have been requesting bottle opener keychains and pocket mirrors for wedding favours:

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and I’ve also been getting lots of requests for custom couple portrait pillows. I love making these!

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I’m super behind in re-stocking for shows with all the requests, but hopefully I can get caught up this week before my next show, Heirlooms, An Etsy Artisan Market, in Welland on Saturday June 15th! My dear friend Heather of Needlings will be there as well which makes it even more awesome! 5 more sleeps!

I did manage to squeeze in one show on June 1st, Craftstock on James North in Hamilton. Always a fun time thanks to Laura, the lovely organizer, and also creator behind Adelaide πŸ™‚ (she makes some super sweet hair flowers so check ’em out at the next Craftstock!) This was my set up for the show (although much less yellow-tinged in person – haha, sorry about that):

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In other exciting news, I got a new job, still as a graphic designer, but at a design agency a little closer to my new home! I’ve always wanted to work at an agency so am super excited. People are always shocked to hear that I work full time on top of running my own bizz, while also balancing a social life… I wish I had the secret to doing it all to share with you. I guess my tips would be: plenty of caffeinated tea! And cat naps! And have lots of crafty friends so hangouts can double as “work” dates! Probably a bit of motivation and passion don’t hurt, either πŸ˜‰

Anyway, after Heirlooms, I am taking July off of shows to prep for the August Art Crawl on James North in Hamilton, Fan Expo, Locke Street Festival, and Supercrawl! My most favourite shows of the year! WOO HOO!

Hope you guys are doing great! Happy early summer!

xo Lisa

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May Madness

Hi guys! Happy almost long weekend ahead! Mine is going to be pretty crazy since I’m moving on Saturday – but at least I’ll have the extra day off on Monday to get unpacked and settled πŸ™‚ I’m excited about the new place, but am totally going to miss my sweet retro townie. It’s all big and lonely here though, I have one bedroom entirely empty (save a spare litter box for the kitties), and a big dark empty basement full of spiders… so although the new place will be quite small in comparison, it will be cozy and adorable, still super retro (I have a pantry!) and much less lonely, since my bf will be moving in, too. We bought a mustard yellow corduroy couch last night, which got me a little too excited about decorating and scouring antique and thrift stores for some cool finds.

Anyway, I’ve been busier than usual – since I had to fit packing into the mix – plus the usual custom orders and restocking. One of the custom requests I worked on was a Dr. Who themed custom portrait pillow for a geek wedding:

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I also had a show, Art-O-Con, in Burlington on May 5th which was a blast! There were a lot of familiar faces and I made a few new con-going pals, too. Even Boba Fett stopped by to say hi, and of course to try on a mustache:

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I have to give a shout out to the incredible Lara from Jaded Dragon Studios for doing such a great job of organizing the show, and just for being generally fantastic!

The ever awesome KStew & JStew interviewed me during the con – you can have a listen here: interview. Mostly I just giggle a lot. Oops. Silly nerves.

Their adorable daughter drew me my very first piece of fan art, too! Incredibly sweet and awesome. Nerdbiskit as a pony! ❀ And staches everywhere! Perfect.

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I made myself a nerdbiskit skirt for the show, with some custom made fabric printed by Spoonflower! It was pretty easy to make, nothing too fancy. Next I want to make a ‘biskit dress! πŸ˜€

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Amongst the busy-ness, I managed to squeeze in a visit to High Park in Toronto to see the cherry blossoms! They were absolutely beautiful, and a friend and I had a lovely dinner picnic under one of the trees. It was sad to see so many people shaking the branches just to make the blossoms fall off, and I heard people were climbing them and breaking off branches, too. Other than this lack of respect shown by a lot of the visitors (at least the ones we encountered), the park and the trees were incredible. Can’t wait to visit them again next year!

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I also cut off my hair!!! I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years but always chicken out. I finally just had to let it go – and it was totally fine! I like it, but am still learning how to style it. It’s a lot more maintenance than my old scenester ‘do was! So far I’ve only experimented with curls and a 60’s flip … but it’s already proven to be a lot more versatile than before πŸ™‚

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So many changes this month! Haircuts, moving… okay so really only two changes. But they are big ones! At least for me they are!

My next show will be Craftstock in Hamilton on Saturday, June 1st, and then Heirlooms on Saturday, June 15th. It’s going to be a lovely handmade market filled with awesome vendors, and situated in a greenhouse – so it’ll be beautiful AND fun AND crafty! A lovely way to kick off the summer show season!

Okay that’s it from me! Just as a heads up, my Etsy shop is closed until May 24, and I won’t be accepting any rush or custom orders until June – taking some time off due to the move. Thanks for your understanding!

xoxo Lisa

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Happy Spring!

Happy Spring, everyone! I’ve been keeping tabs on when the cherry blossoms in Toronto High Park are going to bloom, and apparently the buds are ready to burst soon – this coming weekend even! I’m so excited to take a trip to see them, as I’ve lived in the GTA for almost 10 years and have still never experienced it. Anyway, that’s a sure sign that spring is FINALLY here, despite the cold weather and recent snow. I can’t wait for FLOWERS! And trees and birds and sun and WARMTH! I can’t wait to be complaining about the HEAT rather than the cold. And to whip off these stockings to wear my dresses with bare legs! SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

Spring is already off to a busy busy start for me, and I’ve been a bit of a craft hermit lately as I desperately try to keep up with custom orders! Pillows, cat toys, and LOTS of buttons/bottle openers/mirrors!

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One recent Friday evening – just when I thought I was finally caught up with orders – I was literally about to sit down and start some sewing and restocking of my own merch for upcoming shows, Β when I received a very exciting phone call! It was from theΒ marketing director at Copps Coliseum, Hamilton. She said that Oprah was going to be in town the following evening for a live show and requested me to make the Big O one of my custom portrait pillows!!! The idea was to present this to Oprah as a unique, handmade gift from Hamilton – as a thank you for coming to visit! I was so flattered and excited, and once I stopped squealing and jumping for joy, ran out quickly to get a few supplies for the pillow before stores closed! I only managed to squeeze in about 5 hours of sleep before I had to deliver it to Copps Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. Although I was shaking through the final stitches (in excitement!) I was happy with how it turned out – and hopefully Oprah was, too.

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They were unable to get a photo of The Big O holding it, (as you can imagine, she has quite a large entourage and crew of handlers that everything must pass through before eventually reaching her), but the gift was accepted and may or may not appear on/in something Oprah related in the future! So keep your eyes peeled, and be sure to let me know if you see it pop up! Maybe it’ll be on her favourites list! Who knows πŸ™‚ Either way, the directer at Copps said she might hit me up for more celeb pillows in the future, so that’s amazing too! I can’t wait to work on the next one!

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Since then, I’ve been doing the usual restocking of supplies and merch, and even got started on a new prototype…. here’s a sneak peak. It’s going to be the silliest thing I’ve ever made, and I’ve been giggling to myself as I sew it together.

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I also took an afternoon last weekend to be a shopper, rather than a vendor, at the most awesome show in Toronto, City Of Craft. My lovely lady friend Heather of Needlings and I went to the Christmas one for the first time (finally) this past December, and had our minds blown, so obviously we needed to check out the spring one, too! It was just as awesome, and we even donated our souls (a plucked piece of hair and a fingerprint) to We See Inc. Heather wrote more about it (and took plenty of photos) on her blog. We also had our photos taken at the Have & Hold photobooth with cats, mustaches, bows, and hearts – what more in life is there, really?

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Oh yeah, and I’m moving!!! From boring ol’ suburban Oakville to…. Hamilton (I wasn’t sure what words to use to describe this city, since everyone seems to have their own opinion of it.) We found an adorable place in a pretty area, close to plenty of independent stores, restaurants and coffee shops! I’m very excited/nervous/anxious and can’t wait to share photos once I’m settled. I figured it’s the best place for me anyway, since it’s where I have the most craft shows, and I want to become more involved with the art community that’s thriving in the Hammer! Who knows, maybe I’ll open up my own shop before you know it πŸ˜‰ There’s definitely a lot going on in that neck of the woods that I want to be a bigger part of! I’m sure going to miss my retro townie, but it’s time for a change! A good one! A great one!

On that note, I better get back to packing and sewing. (That’s a lie, I’m actually going out on a dinner date. But I promise to get some work done as soon as I get home!)

You can find me at Art-O-Con in Burlington on May 5th, or the next show after that will be Heirlooms on June 15th in Welland. (There may be an appearance at Craftstock in Hamilton in June as well, depending on how much restocking I can get done before and after the move!)

Have a good rest of your week, everyone!

xo Lisa

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Spring is… not quite in the air. But tacos are!

Hi guys! Hope everyone had a fun and safe St. Patty’s day! πŸ™‚ I was out of commission last week after Toronto ComiCON due to a stomach flu (it was terrible! I hope none of you get it!) so wasn’t able to get much work done. I suppose I needed a bit of a rest anyway, but could have done without the sickness part. Anyway, I recovered fairly quickly and have been back to work with lots of custom orders (bulk buttons, and portrait pillows – here’s the one I’m working on currently:)

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I decided to take April off of shows to make sure I stay on top of all this work, plus I have a ton of re-stocking to do from the con… annnnnd because of some other exciting news, but I don’t want to share just yet until it’s confirmed. My lips are sealed! At least until next time πŸ˜‰

I mentioned in my last blog that I would share the podcast interview I had with Guys With Pencils, which you can have a listen to here. We talk about cats, mustaches, cons, and other fun stuff! It was a blast catching up with these guys, and their podcast is awesome… if you haven’t already, be sure to check ’em out! They’ve been featured in the top 3 spot of iTunes “New and Noteworthy” podcasts, and even if you don’t listen to my interview, they’re got an amazing assortment of talented animators, cartoonists, illustrators, etc. to chose from.

I guess I should also fill you in on Toronto ComiCON where I was on March 9 & 10. It was a pretty typical convention, full of many familiar faces and fantastic energy! Always a fun time! I tested out a new booth set up which allowed me for some “face space” since I’m usually hidden behind my epic display. I got a lot of compliments on this one, so I think I’ll stick with it for a little while longer:

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I also got a lot of compliments on how my outfits matched my branding, which I thought was subtle but was apparently super obvious! πŸ™‚ I like it though. I’m going to get myself a ‘biskit patterned dress soon! Just you wait. I have also been keeping my eye out for a nerdbiskit green pencil skirt – if you see one be sure to let me know!

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I was lucky enough to have myself a lovely assistant on Saturday, thanks to Miss Jenny πŸ™‚ It’s always wonderful to have a companion and someone to help set up, and find tea! ❀

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I took plenty of mustache photos, which can be seen in my facebook mustache fan albumΒ and acquired a few new catnip toy kitty fans, too! I sold out of catnip tacos, so will be busy stocking those up over the next few weeks.

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And my fleece tacos were a big hit, too! This was the first major show I’ve had them at, so I was pretty excited about how people were responding to them. I sold out of those too, so I guess taco making is my number 1 priority over the next month!

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My con highlight was when Ajay from InnerSPACE (via Space Channel) stopped by my booth and chose it as his favourite – mostly because of his love for tacos. Check out the video of him snuggling one of my fleece taco pillows here. You can see me lurking in the background (around 3:08)…

Next up on the show list is Art-O-Con in Burlington on Sunday, May 5th. It’ll be a new show for me this year, but will be filled with plenty of vendor pals so I’m sure it’ll be a good time. Hosted by my awesome pal Lara of Jaded Dragon Studios, who looks dashing in a mustache (below):

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Also, if anyone reading this knows someone with a shop down on James Street North in Hamilton that wouldn’t mind having me set up out front for the July & August Art Crawls, please get in touch with me! πŸ™‚

One last thing before I go, if you haven’t already, head on over to Okay, Allison’s awesome blog to read a feature on yours truly, and also enter for a chance to win some mustache merch (made by me!)

Okay that’s it from me! I’m off to have tea with one of my favourite crafty ladies!

xoxoxo Lisa

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Sewing away the winter blahs…

Hello lovelies! Hope everyone is keeping their spirits up and avoiding those winter blahs! I started my spring count down in January, so I’m ready for flowers and sunshine annnyyyyy day now…. even tomorrow would be great πŸ™‚ But if not, I can stick it out a few more weeks, if I must.

I’ve been busy stocking up for shows! I actually kicked the craft shows off early this year, with Craftstock in Hamilton earlier this month (usually I don’t start until March). It was lots of fun, and is going to be a monthly event down on James Street North, so I’ll likely be there again in the near future. There’s a fun article about it here, featuring some quotes from yours truly!

Here was my booth set up:

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I was pretty excited to wear my new nerdbiskit skirt made by one of my fave crafty pals, Heather of Needlings.

After Craftstock, I was busy with a few podcast interviews, one with Steve Likoski from Australia (click here to listen) and one with Guys With Pencils in Toronto! I think I’m getting better at that sort of thing, (you know, talking to people… haha) and I’m honoured to have been selected as a guest! (I’ll post the Guys With Pencils podcast next time, it’s not ready just yet.)

I also appeared in Hamilton Magazine, which was pretty exciting!

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(click on image to enlarge and read article)
So much media action to kick off the year! I wonder what’s next?! I can’t wait to find out! I should stock up on mustache jokes just so I’m fully prepared!

Other than that, I’ve mostly been sewing tacos, both large (for people) and small (stuffed with catnip for kitties) and working on some new display ideas. I found these cute burger trays:

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and this empty bamboo tea box works wonderfully to hold my pocket mirrors:

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I just love when things work out perfectly πŸ™‚

Other than that, I’ve had several crafting/work dates with pals, including the usual crafternoon with Heather of Needlings. She worked on owls and display stuff for the One Of A Kind show where she’ll be selling her goods (March 27-31 in Toronto), and I basically just ate butter tarts, drank tea, and played with Callie the wonder dog:

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So that’s about it! Oh, I also got Vine, and have been having a lot of fun making silly cat and taco videos! Follow me if you have it: @nerdbiskit. Here’s a sample for you (I promise they’ll get better in time): Taco talk.

Speaking of tacos, I better get back to stuffing more for Toronto ComiCON IN JUST ONE WEEK! I’ll be in Artist’s Alley at booth A43 so if you’re going to be there, come say hi! Super excited since last year was a blast!

Bye for now! xoxo

Lisa

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The summer of nerdbiskit-ing comes to an end!

Well folks, looks like the summer of nerdbiskit-ing has come to an end. What a busy few months it has been, with so many amazing shows, and my busiest year yet with Etsy sales and custom orders! I was so lucky to have been able to take 5 months off of work to freelance and craft full time – not everyone gets to do that. And it was absolutely wonderful! But alas, it is time to head back to the working world and I have found myself a new design job. Timing seems to have worked out perfectly, since shows are winding down now until Spring (there will be a few Christmas shows in December, but nothing major.) And I’ll have plenty of time for custom orders and restocking over the winter months. It’ll be good to try something new – I’m nervous and excited… (and I start tomorrow, so wish me luck!)

My last post was right before FanExpo, so I guess I should start with that. Perhaps I am getting too old for these 4 day conventions, but it was absolutely exhausting! Tons of fun, of course, but I was totally wiped by the end. At least there were lots of exciting moments, caffeine, plenty of visitors and pals and awkward over the table hugs to keep me going. I was pretty disappointed that I didn’t get to meet Gillian Anderson – I waited for her for almost an hour! Luckily my friend Kelsey dressed up as Scully for me on Sunday, which was even better than the real deal, because she even wore a MUSTACHE!

This was my table set up – smallest one of the year! It was jam packed, but I made it work best I could:

And here is me, doing what I do best (standing awkwardly behind my table):

Luckily my lovely friend Heather from Needlings was in the same table grouping, so I was able to visit with her during any down time – look at the two of us, so pattern-y and colourful πŸ™‚ She was so awesome and watched my booth when I needed a pee break! I am so grateful for her existence! ❀

After FanExpo, I had only 2 weeks to prepare for the next big show: Locke Street Festival in Hamilton. This was my third year participating, and I look forward to it every time. It started off a little shaky, with a forecast for 100% rain all day – but by noon the skies cleared, the people came out, and everything turned out to be amazing! I am so glad I set up in the rain that morning and stuck it out – well worth it!

I didn’t get too many photos because it was so busy, but here is my booth in the morning before the rush – only set up at half capacity because of the rain. I was completely cleaned out of mustaches by the end of the day!!!

And then next up, with less than a week to prepare, was Supercrawl – another Hamilton event, which keeps getting bigger and more awesome each year. I had no idea what I was in for, and was totally unprepared for the 70,000 people who passed by on Friday night and Saturday. I can honestly say, this was by far the busiest and best show of 2012 – perfect way to end the show season! I had to shut down the “make-your-own-button” station after Friday night, and was sold out most items by early Saturday evening. It got pretty insane! AND I LOVED EVERY MINUTE!

On Friday night I was lucky enough to have a helper taking care of regular sales while I worked the button station – look at her, expertly folding those tees! Thank you, Miss Tea!

And Saturday, I had a whole posse helping me out. Miss Tea even came back for MORE, bless her soul.

Of course every one of them left by the time it got super crazy on Saturday evening. Haha! I still love them all. And no worries, my parents came by later to save the day, with plenty of snacks, and helped me stick it out until midnight!

Man, I love doing shows.

Since then, I’ve been ordering lots of supplies, re-stocking my empty displays, and taking a bit of a break until the holiday shows start up. Oh, I also took a famjam trip over to BC – it was nice to have a quick getaway before I head back to the working world! And also to rest my arms and wrists, which have been so overworked with all these crazy shows. Nice to have a bit of a break πŸ™‚

Anyway, I will post pictures from BC in my next blog.

Hope all you Canadian friends had a fantastic Thanksgiving weekend!
xo

Lisa

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