Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Craft Show Newbie 101 : Supplies

How to prepare for your first craft show : Supplies
Preparing for your first craft show can be very exciting! It can also be very stressful and nerve racking. I have decided to put together a series that will consist of 5 parts discussing the main ingredients of a fun and successful craft show. We will be discussing my experiences as I prepared for my first craft show.

As some of you may already know, my area of expertise is selling my handmade candles and soaps. My pictures and examples will reflect this, but the lessons may be adapted to whatever your own craft is. Let's get started!

Welcome to Part 4 of a 5 Part Series! 

You've come a long way! You're feeling a mixture of both excitement and nervousness as your first show draws near. Today's lesson gives you a list of basic supplies to take along with you. Use this list in advance to plan for what you will need the day of the show. Check items off the list the day before the show as you pack up. The morning of the show, double check the list to make sure you have everything before you leave.

* Name tag

*Credit card reader

* Cell phone, charged

* Change ($32 - $1 bills, $10 - quarters, $2 - nickels, $5 - dimes, $1 - pennies = $50)

* Clipboard

* Receipt book

* Pens

* Bags to put customers orders in

* Logo sign or framed logo

* Extra price tags

* Stapler

* Packing tape & Scotch tape

* Calculator

* Water/Snacks/Lunch

* Paper towels

* Business cards

* Large binder clips for holding down table cover

* Black & Red Sharpie Markers

* Trash bag

* Tissue paper and/or bubble wrap

* Scissors

* Table cover

* Prepared inventory

* A picture of your table set-up

* Price list

* Email sign-up sheet

* A list of product descriptions

* Brochures or other promotional items

* Bowl & candy, optional

* Fish bowl for raffle, optional

Stay tuned for lesson 5 : Putting it all together 

Previous Lessons 

Monday, December 17, 2012

Christmas Countdown ~ Day 18

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 18 : The week before Christmas checklist

For a lot of us, the true business of the season is really going to be in full swing this week. I am a person who lives by making lists. So I thought for today's post, I would just drop a list for you to help wrap up your holiday plans. These are things that should either already be done or need to be completed asap. Have fun and try not to stress!

* Tree should be up and all decorations should be displayed

* Gift shopping, before going to the store make a very specific list for each person on your list of what you would like to purchase for them

* Check Amazon for last minute gifts, prices are amazingly reduced this week and you can still get free shipping on a lot of items. So why not save yourself the headache of fighting the crowds at the packed stores. And believe me, I have saved at least 50% on most of my presents this year just by shopping at Amazon!

* Christmas Party coming up? Have your gift exchange gifts wrapped and ready to go in advance. You'll thank me later.

* Decide what you will be serving for Christmas Eve

* Decide menu for Christmas appetizers, dinner, dessert, and beverages

* Make plans to relax with the family in the evenings and watch Christmas movies while sipping hot cocoa

* Begin gift wrapping if you haven't already. I am a procrastinator and always wait til the last minute. Not this year! I am making a gift wrapping schedule and getting a little bit done every night this week.

* If you're like most of us, you seriously have a lot to do this week. Do yourself a favor and plan now to split up your duties throughout the week. Do 1 or 2 or maybe even 3 things each day and start checking off your to do list. If you wait to do 20 things in one day, you won't get everything done and you'll make yourself crazy.

* Try to get some extra cleaning done this week. So then you won't have to worry about it this weekend or even worse, Christmas Eve.

* Neighbors' gifts

* Teacher's gifts

Anything else? I would love to hear your ideas!! What are you doing this week. Do you have any tips or suggestions? What helps you get through this week with as little stress as possible?    


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas Countdown ~ Day 17

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 17 : Have fun with cookie cutters!

Today's is a very short post. I just had to add this to my Christmas countdown as a very fun activity if you are looking for a way to keep the younger kids busy ;)

We made handmade playdoh and scented it with pumpkin spice. Smells good! We actually made this playdoh in October. Let me know if you would like the recipe! The recipe makes a huge batch. 

Give a bunch of playdoh to your child with a rolling pin and holiday cookie cutters! Sit back and enjoy hours of play time!


Saturday, December 15, 2012

Christmas Countdown ~ Day 16

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 16 : Treat yourself to a manicure & pedicure

This is a nice relaxing and fun way to celebrate the holiday and the season. Decorate your nails for Christmas! One of our advent calendar events was to have a manicure & pedicure night. We already had tons of nail polishes in several colors. I got some nail art paint which came with white star manicure stickers and I also went to the craft store and got some clear rhinestone blings.

My oldest daughter did her own nails. She polished them red and then applied a white streak across each nail. Very pretty! I helped my younger two with their nails. They both chose pink polish and then every other nail was applied with the white stars and then a rhinestone bling. Very festive!

Some other cute holiday manicure ideas? I ran across an article from Woman's World, Have a very merry manicure! Check the Dec 10, 2012 issue. The suggestions are The Twinkling Tree, The Candy Cane French, The Pink Present, The Rudolph Nail, The Shimmering Holly, and The Glittering Snowflake. They are all lovely!



Friday, December 14, 2012

Christmas Countdown ~ Day 15

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 15 : Decorate Cookies, Cupcakes, Gingerbread Houses

A tradition in my family is baking and decorating Christmas cookies. Now my children always spend the night at my mom's on a weekend before Christmas, usually a week or two before Christmas. They enjoy going to Grandma's house and spending a day baking and decorating. 

They don't always do the same thing every year. One year they covered everything in chocolate! This is super fun and super good! Anything, such as oreo cookies, pretzels, marshmellows, strawberries, apples, bananas, etc. Basically, if it's edible, it can be covered in chocolate! LOL The girls used milk and white chocolate. YUM!

They have baked the traditional shaped sugar cookies and decorated them with icing and sprinkles. Gingerbread men is another option. 

This year the girls will be baking cupcakes. They will then add frosting and decorate with sprinkles and such. My mom is also planning on making a gingerbread house. These are A LOT of fun and super easy thanks to the pre-made kits now available at stores. These kits are great because they come with everything you need to make a nice gingerbread house. The kids enjoy building the house, decorating it, and then eating it!!!

Whatever your holiday baking tradition is, have fun! Let the kids participate as much as they can depending on their ages. These are wonderful memories!!     

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Countdown to Christmas ~ Day 14

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 14 : Make Reindeer Food

This is a really fun craft and a brand new tradition in our house! All you need is some old fashioned oats and a lot of glitter in several colors. Mix the ingredients and you have a magical treat for Santa's reindeer!

The kids loved this project. They can mix this up in advance, divide it between the children in sandwich baggies, and sprinkle on the lawn on Christmas Eve! Sprinkle shortly after dark so the glitter will sparkle in the moonlight. Hopefully there will be snow on the ground!

Tell the children the glitter is to help the reindeer find their house. The reindeer will love to snack on the oats while Santa is doing his job inside!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Countdown to Christmas ~ Day 13

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 13 : Eggnog Recipe

It is a tradition in my household to make our own eggnog. The kids love to help and I think the cost is cheaper making it ourselves. My kids LOVE this eggnog. Obviously, it is nonalcoholic :)

You will need:

3 C Egg Substitute or Egg Beaters
1 C plus 2 TBS Sugar
2 TBS Vanilla Extract
3/4 tsp Ground Nutmeg
14 C Milk


Mix all ingredients and shake well. Beverage is ready to serve immediately or chill.

*This recipe makes about 1 1/2 gallons of eggnog. My family of 5 plus holiday visitors LOVE this stuff! The easiest way I have found to make this much is by having 2 empty clean milk gallons available before I get started. I then divide the ingredients in half. Put half in one jug, shake, and done. Repeat with the other half of ingredients in the other jug.

Here's a list of ingredients for each gallon jug using the above method:

1 1/2 C Egg Substitute or Egg Beaters
1/2 C plus 1 TBS Sugar
1 TBS Vanilla Extract
3/8 tsp Ground Nutmeg
7 C Milk

We will be making our eggnog the day before Christmas Eve. We enjoy a nice relaxing Christmas Eve together sipping eggnog and leave a glass for Santa with his cookies. And there's always plenty left for Christmas Day!


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Countdown to Christmas - Day 12

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 12 : Children's Christmas Books

With only 2 weeks until Christmas, it's time to pick out some books to read! A lot of books can be found at the library. These books also make great presents for the kids!

Here's a list of books we'll be reading this week :

* The Christmas Story (available in book form or can be read from the Bible. Story of Angel Gabriel appearing to Mary and tells about the birth of Jesus.)

* The Night Before Christmas

* The Witch's Christmas by Norman Bridwell

* Christmas by Steve Potts

* Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer by Robert L. May

* Arthur's Perfect Christmas by Marc Brown    

Where's Rudolph Scavenger Hunt ~ Find Rudolph for your chance to win!

Rudolph is hiding! Who's up for a scavenger hunt? We're giving away over $500 in prizes! There will be FIVE winners that will each get a prize bundle valued at $100!

Start your hunt here : Where's Rudolph?

Contest ends December 16th at midnight! Be sure to read all instructions and rules. Have fun & good luck!!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Countdown to Christmas - Day 11

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 11 : Christmas Plays and Concerts

This week, we will be attending my daughter's choir concert for school. My other daughter is also preparing for a Christmas concert that will be performed at her school next week. She is super excited because she has a speaking part, announcing one of the songs they'll be singing!

If you do not have the opportunity to attend such a concert or play, why not put on a Christmas related play or concert with your children just for fun? You could organize and direct the production or participate in the performance with them! Plan practices, dress rehearsals, and set a date for friends and family to attend the performance at your house. What a fun evening!

If your children love to sing, a concert may be the way to go. You can choose 3 or 4 songs for them to sing or let them help you choose the songs. They will have fun practicing the songs and dressing up for the big night!

If you are creative and imaginative, you may be able to write your own play for your children to perform. Maybe they could invite friends to participate and fill character roles.

The children may also enjoy acting out skits from popular stories or songs they already know! Here are a few ideas : 

* A Christmas Carol
* Act out a Nativity scene and give each child a speaking part
* Gingerbread Man
* Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
* Silent Night
* Twas the Night Before Christmas
* 12 Days of Christmas
* Act out scenes from any Christmas story or song and ask the audience to guess who you are
* Frosty coming to life
 Have fun and encourage imagination. Mix stories together and do several scenes. Have fun making costumes or raiding closets and letting the kids play dress up. Decide if you'll be funny or serious. Do you want to encourage audience participation?

Maybe this could become a new family tradition! Enjoy :)  

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 10 of The Countdown to Christmas

Welcome to my 25 Days of Christmas Project! We're counting down the days til Christmas, sharing activities, ideas, and cheer with you!

Day 10 : Christmas related games for kids

1. Musical Chairs ~ Play like regular musical chairs game. Have same number of chairs as children minus one. Kids circle the chairs while music plays. Pause the music and whoever is left without a chair is out. Remove a chair and continue until only one person is left. For this version, play Christmas music. Jingle Bell Rock and Rockin Around the Christmas Tree are good songs for this game.

2. Pin the nose on Rudolph ~ Here is a picture of Rudolph to print. And here is a page full of red noses to print. Just place double sided tape on the back of the noses for each child. Hang the picture of Rudolph to a wall. Blind fold and spin each child for their chance to pin the nose on Rudolph!

3. Candy Cane Pass ~ You will need 4 candy canes. Children sit around in a circle. The child to start the pass holds the candy canes in one hand (one candy cane between each finger) and passes the candy canes to the child next to them. Each child can only use one hand to take the candy canes and can only hold them between their fingers. If someone drops a candy cane, they are out.

4. Snow Ball Toss ~ Use a small bucket about the size of a beach bucket. And several small styrofoam balls from a craft store. Children take turns tossing the "snow balls" into the bucket.

5. Santa Says ~ Played just like Simon Says. One child wears a santa hat and they are Santa. This child states actions for the other children to do such as "Santa says, hop on one foot." The other children follow the directions as long as the leader says "Santa says". They cannot stop hopping on one foot until the leader says "Santa says, Stop." If the leader gives a command by not saying Santa says first, the other children should not follow the directions. Children are out if they complete a command by the leader in which the leader did not state "Santa Says".