Monday, June 28, 2010

I’m a “Smolensk Day” Crafter . . . almost!

There are 2 major craft fairs in Smolensk every year.  
The first is in May, for Victory Day (celebrating the end of WWII) and the other is at the end of Sept, for Smolensk Day (celebrating the liberation of Smolensk from the Germans during WWII).  
Both fairs are part of weekend- long holidays in the city.  There is also music, food, dancing, war reenactments, children’s activities - - the whole city comes out to walk, look, and listen.  
This past May I walked the craft fair and enjoyed talking with several of the vendors.  What struck me was that mostly they are all selling the same things:  clay cartoonish looking figures, amazing paintings, green plants, rock jewelry, pillows - and that was basically it.  There must have been at least 100 little tables set up - but they were all selling one of these “basics.”  
I thought to myself, “I can make some interesting and practical items and have a little table for the next fair!”
So, I asked a couple of the vendors how they entered the fair and they were so nice and helpful - - and encouraging!  One lady said, “Come join us next month.  There is a fair in Yartseva!”  I told her that I didn’t have any inventory, yet, but she was gonna let me get away, “Come anyway and see what all people are making and selling - you may find some good ideas.”  
Well, I didn’t make it to the Yartseva fair but I have been thinking and planning for “Smolensk Day.”
First, I made a trip to Moscow and got some supplies:

My pride and joy - - a self-healing cutting mat!!! Oh my goodness, how did I work before?  This thing makes cutting fabric a breeze.  
I also got a rotary cutter and a great ruler!  
Next, my handy husband put up a shelf for all my sewing supplies:
These boxes hold thread, needles, pins, zippers, ribbon, some fabric. . . and lots of other sewing goodies!  
The table folds out - on both ends but I usually just put up one side.  Under the table there is a little shelf where my sewing machine rests (when not working) and where I store a huge, but squash-able, plastic bag full of my fabric stash.
I have to say that I am very thankful for this little space to create! 
 I am also REALLY looking forward to having a space that is totally mine in the new house.  Where I can leave the sewing machine out - and the ironing board up.  Where there will be just hard wood floors to make clean-up must faster and not so immediate!  
And, of course, I’ve been working on my craft fair inventory:
  • crayon and colored pencil rolls
  • art caddies
  • “Market Mini’s” - wristlets
  • kleenex caddies
  • document covers (for passports and such)
  • baby onesies with cute appliques
What do you think?  Any other ideas or suggestions?
I would appreciate your input!
I recently put together a rough - very rough - business card with my logo.  We have a talented designer in our church and he is going to “make it all look nice.”  So, I should have business cards soon! 
I also want to use my logo to have fabric labels woven while I’m in the States next month.
And, for each purchase, I would like to include a little card with my information and a Bible verse.
I’ve been thinking - “What are my goals?  Why do I want to do this?  What do I hope to accomplish?”
Answers - “I’m not really sure.”  (how do you like THAT one!?)  
I do know that I feel gently pushed to try this - - something/one is urging me on from inside.  
I’m really excited both to create and then to share those creations!
I love to talk with people and I look forward to sitting at my table and meeting people.
I don’t expect to make a ton of money - but enough to continue buying nice fabrics would really be nice!  
I would like to meet other people in the city that are “crafty.”
For now, that’s about it!  
I have been sewing for Sophi - getting some things ready for the HOT Texas weather.  We’re going for a visit in July and Aug.
I made Sophi this really cute sundress - with all IKEA fabrics and applique, using this great tutorial.  Be sure to check out this blog! I love everything this sweet lady makes - and she is living in the “cold North,” too!

Isn’t the back sweet?  The tutorial originally called for a shirred back - but I didn’t have any elastic thread so I just put in some elastic at the top.  Next year, when I let it out a little I may go back and add the shirring.

I made this little skirt from an old pair of Anton’s jeans and some cute IKEA fabric.

I didn’t follow a pattern or tutorial - just winged it!  And I love how it turned out!
Sophi does, too!

Thank you so much to all of you for your encouraging words as I have been learning to sew.  I love doing it  . . . and I believe God is at work in me through it! 
 I feel His Pleasure as I create.
How cool is THAT!?  
Oh, yes, and I’ll be looking for you at my craft table at the “Smolensk Day” fair!

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