Tutorial on Home Craft show organization and preparation.

I hope this article benefits some or any of you who are planning on setting up a craft sale in your home. Its about my preparation and the arrangements to be made before the actual day.

Ok, so its that time of the year, when I generally start my summer craft workshop. In addition to that, I will be organizing a home show for all my craft products which include :

  • Handmade greeting cards
  • Art and Craft Kits
  • Scrapbooking stickers
  • Altered Frames and wall hangings.
  • Altered tins, door hangers etc
  • Craft embellishments.
  • I have 3 times more cards which need to be placed with envelopes in cellophane !!

These are just the main items, ofcourse there are plenty more in the sub category.  for example, the craft embellishments include,  

 

As you can see, my work station1 is completly a hill site full of colorful embellies.

  • foam
  • fabric
  • ceramic
  • metal
  • glass
  • wood
    Here they are all just mixed in the larger packets which first have to be sorted into different categories.These are the altered clothespin with woodsies attached to them. I have a huge pile of these to sell too. Anyone interested ?

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Further more there are different shapes like, hearts, stars, flowers, critters, butterflies, oceanic, baby related and so many many more. Here I have somehow managed to fill 4 different boxes categorizing woodsies, clothespins, baby embellies and fabric flowers/butterflies. There are some more smaller boxes which I could not fit in the pic.

trying to keep some focus and make some sense of all the chaos .. .
Being methodical can be time consuming and painful but in the end, you stand to gain alot from it. I am a perfectionist and always need to see things arranged in clusters, groups, with tags, in packets etc. Ofcourse, I will be putting up my 200 different types of ribbons as well. And my handmade papers too.However I have just one week at hand and a H U G E task ahead of me in this short time.
 
Here are the few main tasks at hand :
  • Preparing the product for selling
  • All the cards have to be placed in celophane with coordinated envelopes.
  • Price tags with store labels.
  • Stickers sorted in different categories and price tagged
  • Door hangers, wall hangings and altered arts wrapped, sealed and price tagged.
  • Plastic carry bagsCalculator, cash for change, pen, receipt pad, business cards
  • Prepare the cork board for sample display sets.

 

Ok, so some progress is taking place. Placing here are some envelopes coordinating with the card colors.

My newer wall hangings, door hangers, placards, and bookmarks ~ waiting to be wrapped and dressed.All the embellishments, packed, tagged, and priced. Hanging for now in a make shift display.

All the embellishments, packed, tagged, and priced. Hanging for now in a make shift display. Eventually all the embellishments are going to look like this.

 Note: The tags on my embellishment packets were designed by me on my last trip to India. Very early on, I realized that its always important to market your products well. Hence these tags are printed front and back and I just punched a tiny hole so as to let them hang on the wire rack.

I know the picture quality is not good but I think you get the “picture” :)

 Display organization

I can never emphasis enough how important, a display really is. Probably the reason why, big stores hire a proper merchandiser just to enhance the visual effect of a display. It is necessary that the display looks uncluttered, organized, has easy access, and is attractive. No matter how brilliant a product is, if the display does not grab your attention, no one is really going to want to pick that item up, leave aside buying it.

  • Invest in a good simple fabric to cover your display area or table. Please remember dont use a printed sheet, lest it distract the buyer.
  • Give them ample of space to move around. If possible try to use the wall to hang items which can be hung.
  • Another thing, make sure, you have ample of lighting in the room and if not, try to find spot lights or lamps which can light up dark corners and focus on the item.

Here’s a list of the things I need to prepare for 

  • Get the display items out of the shed, clean the 2 metal racks, 2 foldable white tables,
  • paint the wheeled rack in the courtyard,
  • Ready the 3 table top racks
  • Find the small table top easels from the shed.
  • Get the special runners (for fairs) for dinning table
  • Gathering all the baskets for keeping the embellishments
  • This wheelie wire display is desperate for a coat of some fresh paint. There’s the table wire rack that I was talking about.

    And there’s the 1+2 portable tables for display.

     This is my shed. Completly stacked to the brim with my exhibition/fair stuff. Except for the blue floor sofa, its all MY STUFF !!

  •   

    There’s the table wire rack that I was talking about.

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Decoration

  • Prepare the Doodle Buddies Banner/Bunting with fabric
  • street signs poster
  • This bunting, I prepared last night. Ofcourse, this is not complete. I am preparing an entire tutorial for this which I will upload soon.

Advertising :

  • Facebook list on Naush and Doodlebuddies
  • Emailing list
  • Arte List
  • social club friends, or coffee morning bunch.
  • Making digital poster as well hard copy of the poster for Le Marshe, Spinneys, Lakes, Shop and Sell.
  •  
    Ofcourse, I have kept the message clear with no fancy fonts. This is my flyer.

    Menu Planning

Keeping some light refreshments and snacks, serves two purposes. Not only is it courteous to keep something at hand to serve in this horendous heat but it also helps in keeping people over for longer while they munch something.

Dont forget, some very special friendships of like minded people can form thru such events. I know, I have met some extraordinary people thru these meetings so dont be shy to open up, speak up and talk about your art. I always look forward to exhibitions like these, becoz there is nothing better than to bump into someone who is always designing similar things like me and so, faces the same issues like myself.

Although this may not look like alot, its best not to leave anything for 2 days before the show. So the adverts, have to be out ASAP !! People need to plan their weekend and see how they can fit a little shopping at Doodle Buddies in their schedule so its best they are invited much in advance.

So far only the banner is done and looks awesome, if I may say so myself. Not even 1/3 of the cards have found their way into the cellophanes :(   The embellishments need a lot of organizational work. At this point, if you can get someone to help out a bit. That would be great. A close friend, a good available neighbour, naturally the husband if he is willing. In my case, my kids are a huge help and support. And my hubby is like a backbone to the whole episode.

Although I have a very large courtyard/garden, due to the incredibly hot temperature, I will be keeping the show in the lounge room which means alot of reshuffling of the furniture to accomodate the show racks and keeping some space for movement at the same time.

I have managed to click and add a few photos to give you a brief idea of what I have in my plates !!

I hope you enjoy these pictures and please remember, this is my situation with the loads etc, but its not necessary that everyone HAS to unload an entire shed to get things out !! A little bit of organizational skills will help you tremendously in keeping prepared for the big day. Becoz you are the best judge of how your rooms look and how you can arrange your room to accomodate your products, you would have to have a vague picture in your mind of approximately how you want things placed. Inspite of all the best of the preparations, things do tend to go wrong at the last minute but atleast with a list of things in hand, you are overcoming a large part of if and how things can fall apart.

I have some more pointers about what kind of snacks to provide for the show in a climate like the one, we are experienceing right now, but I will keep that and a whole lot of more things for my next post, since this post has got so long already.

I hope you enjoyed your stay at Creative Mom in Dubai & Doodle Buddies. I hope you found some solutions, some ideas and found some inspiration to try out a long awaiting fair too. Please write to me if you found my article inspiring.

Thank you for stopping by.

Naush

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Mission : Declutter and Organize Boys Room.

Hello Friends, And how have we all been the past month of May ? This post was supposed to be out atleast 4 weeks back but I’ve had plenty on my plate, but becoz I am alittle unwell and put on bed rest, I am able to get the post out.

Now for those of you’ll who have been following my blogs, you already know, that atleast twice a year, I declutter the boys room. There are piles of toys which the boys have grown out off and some just did not survive the wear and tear of the Samama Clan and yet other toys have found places in the boys’ friends homes.

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Anyways, after the garage sale, it took, nearly an entire weekend to get the boys’ room back to alittle bit of sense. We decided to reorganize the furniture which meant moving all the beds and the toy racks. It took nearly 4-5 tries before which all of us were satisfied with the end result.  I am leaving a slide here to show you exactly how much of a task it was this time. I look forward to your comments.

One thing I have often noticed between couples, is that, women generally like to take charge of where to place what in the house. But to all the women out there, just two tiny advice.

1. Instead of breaking off in a fight, just let the set up go as your partner likes, sleep over it. Any change, takes time, to grow on us. Initially alot of things dont suit us, however later we realize, it was an ideal decision.

2. Inspite giving the said setup, some time to dwell, if you persistently dislike the placing or set up, then you can bring your view forward in an amicable way. Dont rush it and dont get him defensive ~ neither will help. And you can only be happy if both of you are happy.

Although I am not 100% satisfied with the setup of the beds in this position, I am trying to look at things from my spouce’s point of view and perhaps, it might seem odd initially but lets wait and see how it goes. The paint job has not yet started but I was too excieted so I wanted to share this with you’ll. Meanwhile, both of us are happy and most importantly, the three little men in our household are very excieted too.

Bye Bye for now. Thank you for visiting. Dont forget to visit www.doodlebuddies.wordpress.com/ before you leave.

Naush

Toy Garage Sale

Alittle after Sam came home after his surgery, one of the enormous tasks pending on my to-do list was arranging the boys room and organizing the toys. Now organizing the toys also implys getting rid of that huge mountain of toys piled up for the last 2-3 years. Every 8 months, we get rid of toys that have either broken or the boys have just lost interest in them coz they have grown and moved on to a more challenging / attractive toy. There is a very nice masjid in Bur Dubai, close to the Imperial suites, which accepts toys, clothes, household stuff etc. Thats generally where I would donate the toys in good condition.

However, Bilal, having moved on to more gadgety toys, with sawaab in tow, Eman is left with a huge heap of toys. The little guy likes his tiny army men and forts and ofcourse his war hammer and stuff. So we decided to put up a garage sale.

The boys were so excieted. It was decided that the money collected would go into buying playstation cds or computer game cds. Needless to say, they all put up their socks and were fully charged up. We put up the advertisement in Le Marche, on the spinneys board and on the AR Website.  The boys even placed direction posters around the Al Reem area !!  Our sales was to begin from 11 in the morning. Our first “customer” was a couple with 6 kids who had been waiting since 10:15 !!!!!!!!

Please remember, recyling toys is helping the environment. Why dump or throw toys down the garbage bin, when some child can happily enjoy them for a couple of months or even years more.

Here are some of the pictures :

 

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Ofcourse the sale did turn out good enough to help the boys buy a handful of cds, however, it was my first time experience with garage sales and some of the things that i realized are noted below  :

  • Make sure, you have placed all your toys on the tables, shelves, chairs, cartons,  etc a night before instead of waiting for the 11th hour. It helps~ you feel more organized. An organized display is attractive even if someone is not going to pick something. Its like eye candy !
  • Never place your telephone number on the advert. You’ll be strangely surprised as to how many people call for anything but toys, inspite of writing in large bold letters “ONLY TOYS FOR SALE” !!!!
  • Keep the time short. I made the mistake of keeping it on saturday coz friday was the royal wedding so naturally the turnout would be expectedly low. But where I was wrong was that I kept it from 11:00 to 5:00. The real buyers will be there in the first two hours. So the best time for the sale should be kept between 9:00 to 12:00 or even earlier especially for toys.
  • We kept the prices in the range of max dhs 15 for furniture (and otherwise dhs 1 – 5 ) which was “extreme underpricing” .. why ? Becoz people are people and even at that, they wanted to know if it could be negotiated ?????? HELLLLLLLO !! Even a tiny dinosaur the size of my pinky, costs dhs 25 in ELC and here your getting a full size work table and two chair from Ikea in good condition and you want a discount on 15dhs ???? Solution. Dont price it at dhs 15. Keep it at 20-25 so if they insist, you can always throw it down to 15 !! satisfied ? I manged to sell the egg chair thru dubizzle for dhs 25. Original price being dhs 225 from Ikea ! Then again, the idea was not about “making” money.
  • To reduce the confusion and better traffic for the sale, make sure, you draw or print a map of your house location on the advert. Alot of people are visual based and it helps tremendously.
  • Best to keep some water ready at hand in glasses on the kitchen platform instead of rushing into the kitchen everytime someone asks for some water.

These are just a few of the points I figured from our first sale. We still have piles of toys stacked up in boxes which will be going to the Masjid soon enough for donation. But for now, we are a less loaded and crowded home 🙂

Oh and if there is anyone out there who stays in Dubai and is interested in picking up some/any of these toys, feel free to contact me. They will probably be sitting there in the boxes for atleast two weeks before they are donated to the masjid.

I hope this little article helps you in realizing :

  •  the less cluttered our house is, the more space, there is, to grow ~
  •  the more, we are relaxed ~
  •  the more, it is easy to clean and frankly,
  • there are only so many toys, a child can play with !!

If any of the points have :

  • helped you or
  • helped to make your sale successful or
  •  inspired you to put up a sale,

please do leave a comment. Your comments are always precious to me !

For now, thank you for stopping by and sparing my article, some time.

Naush

Birthday Treat bags and A special boy.

May 11 1999 My oldest son, Bilal was born, May 10 2002, exactly 3 years later, my youngest and third son, Eman was born. Now for those of you with kids placed so closely in birth dates, I dont exactly know how you go around making them feel special !  Well, in a way, I’m saved from all those complications coz we dont celebrate birthdays, well atleast not in the traditional way carried out, all over the world ~ Cake, song, birthday bumbs and whats worse is this new ‘thing” about smashing chunks of cake over the birthday persons face, clothes etc, which is not only disgusting but also being ungrateful to the food and the many bounties of the Almighty  (cake in this case).

When the kids were smaller, I would send some goody bags with them to school for their classmates and take them out for a “MOVIE” which we generally watch only on special occasions or visit their favorite activity parks like kidzania, lou lou al dagongs, magic planet etc. Now that Bilal is just entering his teens, its really difficult coz Eman being 9 still wants to do the same things while Bilal would prefer paint ball park or the bowling alley ! Now thats really a row between the two birthday boys.

Truth be told, its a celebration for me. I turned mom for the first time. All those beautiful and traumatic memories of their pregnancy and delivery come, flooding back on these days.  Its really all too special for me coz these guys are exceptionally understanding, well behaved and just a whole bunch of fun to be around with. Ofcourse, there is that one guy who feels totally out of place coz his birthday falls in July ~ he is not made to feel special by his friends becoz schools out for summer holidays. And you see “FRIENDS” is what its all about !!!

Well, for Eman, these are the goody bags I made for his school.

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For a couple of years, after Eman was born, when they didnt understand the concept of birthdays and such,  I used to take the guys to meet this particularly special little chap who has been in Dubai Hospital from alittle after he was born and probably will stay there for the rest of his life.  His name was Aboudi.

I was having a very complicated pregnancy with Eman. I was in my 6th month when they admitted me much against my wishes,  for severe bleeding. Sawaab was just 9 months old while Bilal was around 3 years. Even now as I pass Dubai Hospital, I watch the 5th floor visitors lounge window and remember how helpless, I used to feel, knowing that both my babies were miles apart in the day and were having such a disturbed time in the evening. Those were such desperate times. Sam would struggle to keep some order in our lives between visiting me in the hospital and managing the babies. And then just as things could’nt have gone worse, Sawaab’s bronchitis devoloped into pneumonia. I remember being on the 5th floor pre-delivery ward while my baby was admitted on the second floor. What a rucous I created when I found out that evening !!! Inspite of my state, nothing in the world could hold me back from being with him. I suppose you call that a “maternal thing” but at that point, I just knew I wanted him just as much as he wanted me. What a huge fight I had with my consulting gyne to release me and release I did get !!!!!!

 It was at that time, when I shifted on the 2nd floor to look after Sawaab that I saw little Aboudi. At that time, he must ave been around 3 years. Cerebral palsy. He was tied with bandages to the cot lest he harm himself. A fair child, drooling away with eyes that I felt were imploring. The nurses communicated with him and somehow he did make some movements to respond. A large part of the day we was sitting by the corner of his cot, watching and sometimes even made to sit of the stroller.  He was a futile cause … he was another one of those, children of a lesser God. My heart ached when I saw him for the first time, I remember, hugging him and later crying away when I saw my own child. No one ever gave away any of this background until one day, one of Aboudi’s favorite attendents, who had become very attached to me told me that he was dropped off at the hospital emergency department by a driver late in the night.  What a heartless mother or did I speak too soon ? No . . . .  She was a heartless woman. To dump a 10 day old baby just becoz he was probably never going to be like all the other kids !!!!!  Nobody claimed him. He was a waif. It breaks my heart to think, that no one in this whole world loves  that little tiny boy with such a huge disease. No one even knew of his existence.  No mother to comfort him, no one to hug him, embrace him with kisses upon kisses, no one to wipe his tears and fears. How cruel. 

Aboudi made me realize that I had no pain at all.  Aboudi gave me that first time feeling of what it feels like, to be in this world ALL ALONE with a huge handicap. The sisters in the ward treated him with affection and dignity and I am so grateful that they did not do it as a part of their job but for humanity.

For the next 3 years, I kept visiting Aboudi with my boys and some toys in hand. Until we moved to the Ranches and life took on a different pace all together. Often I have seen in documentaries and movies about orphans, abused children or such and my heart goes out to each one of them but Aboudi was the child who actually made me come face to face with that situation and I realized I was really no match for his spirit and resilience. I believe he has suffered tremendously but as if it is some solace,  in the hereafter, he will be one of Allah swts blessed ones. Inshallah.

Amongst the many many things that Aboudi made me realize long back was also that birthdays, anniversaries are not for spending lavishly on parties but on fullfilling small and big dreams with those who matter the most to us. Spending in the way of the less fortunate, a hospital visit, a trip to the home of seniors and yes, also creating special memories with near and dear ones. Bilal has has only three friends through out the year and he wishes for them to somehow be a part of “his” day while Eman has an entire school which has been his “BEST” friend. Now isnt “that” a task !!

If you are interested in knowing about Aboudi’s present state, please do comment and I shall reply.

Internet Abbreviations.

I remember when I was in school, somewhere in 1985-86. We were introduced to computer software in school in the form of a subject. I remember some of my friends opting for Dbase and Lotus.  Those who opted for computers were considered progressive, high tech and really intelligent. Somewhere in 1990, I too enrolled for a course in C language. Not that anything materialized from it ~ I did not even pass the course !!!

Over a period of the next 10 years. Computers really seeped thru every channel of transaction we made. Ofcourse Microsoft was a revolution in itself. The WWW opened the world like nothing before. We knew what Mrs Peng cooked for dinner far away in a tiny province of china or what programe young Steven was watching in a remote village close to Durban. The world seemed to be magically rolled up and fitted into the gazillions of dots and @ in our computer screens. It is still amazing !! And I am reminded about this phenomeon when my young son asks me, how did you find things or do projects before computers ?? Wow, Now THAT was a challenge.  Although it did not seem so then.

This also brings me to the weird and wonderful world of chat rooms, forums, discussion boards etc.  Being a typist, I find typing rather easy and convenient but I can understand how impossibly difficult it must be for those who use two forefingers to get around so many keys. My husband for instance has mastered the keyboard with his two forefingers, amazingly.

Probably becoz of this, people have these really short, abbreviated codes in these forums. It is amusing and amazing, and sometimes, its hard to keeep up with the scores of newly abbreviated terms online. Here are some of them for you. Personally, I dont like it. I prefer simple english to communicate. Probably the only word I generally abbreviate, which has now almost become a signature in my articles is ~ becoz for because and thru for through. I have  been doing so since school and have got into trouble on several occasions for using them. And what do you know now ~ My cousin sister who is a principal in a school, is using some of these codes to communicate !!!!

So when your on facebook or tweeter and come across so really weird looking word which does not make any sense, please turn to this post to make some sense of it !!! Here is a small collection of them :

Oh, SMH means Scratching My Head or Shaking my head.

1. 73: Best Regards
2. AFAIC: As Far As I’m Concerned
3. AYSOS: Are You Stupid or Something?
4. BAC: By Any Chance
5. BBN: Bye Bye Now
6. BRB: Be Right Back
7. CSG Chuckle Snicker Grin
8. DH: (depending on your mood!) Dear Husband ~ Darned Husband ~ Demented Husband
9. DIY: Do It Yourself
10. EOD: End Of Discussion
11. FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions
12. GBTW: Get Back To Work
13. GMTA: Great Minds Think Alike
14. H&K: Hug and Kiss
15. HAGU: Have A Good ‘Un
16. Clapping: Hands And Wetting My Pants
17. IAE: In Any Event
18. IMPE: In My Previous/Personal Experience
19. ISP: Internet Service Provider
20. J/K: Just Kidding
21. L8R: Later
22. LHU: Lord Help Us
23. LOLOL: Laughing Out Loud On Line
24. LY: Love Ya
25. MYOB: Mind Your Own Business
26. nOOb: Newbie
27. PMFJI: Pardon Me For Jumping In
28. PS: Post Script
29. QSO: Conversation
30. ROTFLMAO: Rolling On The Floor Laughing My A** Off
31. ROFLCOPTER: Rolling on Floor Laughing and Spinning Around in Circles
32. SIL: Sister In Law
33. SOHF: Sense Of Humor Failure
34. TANSTAAFL: There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch
35. TOS: Terms Of Service
36. TTYL: Talk To You Later
37. VDW: Very Dear Wife
38. WTH: What/Who The Heck (or H**, or sub an ‘F’ for the ‘H’)
39. WYSIWYG: What You See Is What You Get
40. YWIA: You’re Welcome In Advance

Goody Bags for school.

This is one of the larger efforts that I put in every year around this time.  Gift packs for teachers and students in my boys’ classes.

So a large part of last week was spent making dozens of tags and wrapping the gifts. What was really special this year round,  was that I let the boys help me out with it and you know, as “ms perfecty” as I am, I really enjoyed letting them have fun in the process !  My boys chiped in happily and had a blast while at it   It was purely a team effort. 

This year we made alittle over 70 bags for students and 30 chocolate bars for teachers. .  I think the pictures explain everything

The gift tags are digi stamps except for just one of them which is handstamped. The small bags, I got in one of my trips to Malaysia. They are so cute. Wish I had got scores more ~ They are so handy.

Well from what I hear, there was a riot in their class, with kids actually wanting to trade in stuff,  to get their hands on those goody bags !!  Wow ~ The boys are so excieted and having a blast. Makes all that effort worth it all.

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Care for some tea ……. bags ?

 Samie is not an ardent tea lover, but he has his morning tea to wash down some of his toast. Inspite of loading a large amount of earl grey’s and lemon tea’s while he had first been diagnosed with Carcinoma, all of them rest as medicinal or exotic teas, sitting happily in the snack bar ! So back to Lipton, it is. However, what I have been enjoying lately is the bonus pleasure that lipton is providing to its end user .. not the consumer, in this case. .. yes, their little quizes to check how intelligent the female folks are who prepare tea for their husbands or have they turned into complete numb nuts. Have a go at some of these optical illusions and quizes.

Have started collecting them to make a quiz pocket note book for the boys, that is, when I have atleast a dozen of so, becoz many of them are also in arabic.

Enjoy :

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