Paper Peeps

Its been great having a lull in my schedule. I've been able to get quite a few unfinished projects done before I start inventory for my next show. My latest paper toy set has 3-D gnome dolls and a paper version of my popular fawn. I'm thinking of designing more dolls like this... Red Riding Hood for example. Let me know what other dolls you would like to see made into Paper Peeps.

Cat Toy Critters Tutorial

I made this cat toy tutorial quite a few years ago. I thought it would be fun to post in on my blog since I didn't have one at the time. Please remember I have designed these for personal use only. Make as many as you want for friends and family but please do not sell them under any circumstances. Have fun!

Your Kitty's gonna love these Cat Toy Critters. Fill em with catnip or hang them from a string. Stinky will think your the cats meow.
Materials Required
Assorted colors of craft felt

Embroidery floss or thread for stitching

Glass beads for eyes (OPTIONAL)

Fiber fill or cat nip for stuffing

Choose a critter and cut out pattern from the paper. Pin pattern pieces to the felt and cut out accordingly. Sewing- A ladder stitch is recommended for best results.

1. Start out by sewing bird belly to one side of bird half and continue up and around over head until you reach the tail.
2. Continue on with the tail in position until the end, knot, then finish the other side of tail.
3. Now go back and finish sewing the other side of the bird belly. Wow you can see the bird taking shape!

4. Sew about 3/4 of the bird base on leaving enough room open to stuff bird.
Fill with fiber fill or a premium catnip, finish sewing base on. 5.Now your ready for the eyes and wings. Knot thread to position of eye, slide on glass bead and go through to other side and slide on other the bead, pull tightly to create small indentation in felt. Go through a couple of times to securely fasten eyes. (You may choose to glue felt eyes on instead to prevent any injury to your cat.) Clip wings to give the illusion of feathers then fasten to bird body as indicated on pattern. 6. Stitch on bird feet. Voila your finished!! Now go make the other two critters, the same technique may be applied to those as well.

Softie Keychains

I'm really excited about Spoonflower and all the possibilities of creating my own custom fabric. In the past I have designed printed dolls with the custom printing service. Recently I have designed some Russian doll keychains based on my paper nesting dolls. Right now I'm working on some new designs to get ready for professional printing. I made these samples by printing them onto fabric that is made to go through an ink jet printer. Which one do you like? Help me decide which designs to send off to Spoonflower.

On the drawing board.

Birthday Party Playset

I started this Birthday party playset back in December but got sidetracked with many other things. It features a pink paper cake with two slices of cake, party hats and even some B-Day cards.

Craft Show Display

I thought it might be fun if I showed my display from my recent craft show and include a few tips for some crafty people participating in there first show. I use this set-up for the small indoor shows. I was able to fit my entire display including the two tables, two chairs and three totes full of inventory and display props onto a fold-up dolly. I made one trip from the car and set-up by myself within an hour. The round tables fit my theme much better than a rectangular table would and the best part they are put together like a puzzle and easily fit in my car. I think its important to raise the items up onto props instead of having them lie flat on the table like some cheap garage sale. I'm always on the lookout for tiny tables and boxes for props and I found most of mine at Michaels on clearance. Sometimes the props may have been the wrong color so I painted them white for a consistent look. The table coverings were made inexpensively with felt and have a scalloped edge. Generally my display made people happy and drove a lot of parents nuts from their kids begging for something from Fantastic Toys. :)

I bought the DVD player at Target for under a hundred bucks much cheaper than some of those digital photo frames. With the DVD player I am able to make custom slide shows presenting my past work and items I may not be able to bring to the show but have available at my etsy shop. At past shows I've run out of business cards. I made sure I plenty for this show. I printed my fake moo cards at the local print shop and cut them all myself. The free stickers were also a big hit with the kids.

This year I introduced some items at lower price points and they were a hit. Although I sold some higher priced items many more buttons, stickers, and Russian doll keychains sold for $6.00 and under.

I price everything with stickers or standing tags. I think its more convenient for customers to see the price instead of asking how much something is. Sales could be missed if I'm busy with a customer and something is not priced. Having a sign displaying which credit cards I take also prevents this from happening. I use Propay to process the credit cards. It is very easy and they only charge a small fee.

Participating in craft shows can be very exciting. Its a great way to meet new artists and expose your work to lots of people. I'll just wrap this up with a few key tips. Feel free to add some more if you wish. See you at the next show!

• Prop your items up with boxes, tables or stands.
• Include a DVD player or digital photo frame to show past work.
• Bring plenty of business cards.
• Have multiple price points.
• Price everything.
• Take credit cards!

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