Making Beaded Dragonflies

Several months ago my grand-daughter was watching some movies on my computer and came across a beaded dragonfly tutorial I had downloaded from You-Tube. She created a couple and insisted that I do it with her. Well, ever since I have been making them into earrings, put them inside bottlecaps, broach/pins, barrettes and I even may make them into key chain charms. Once, you get the basics down you can experiment with different size and types of beads. I think the basic thing to remember is that the top wings are longer than the bottom wings so keep count as you go. In real life dragonflies do not have curling antenna but it looks pretty cool when you have them.

I prefer 26-gauge wire and seed beads for those that I am making into earrings and larger beads and 24-gauge wire for things like broaches and barrettes. I also like to mix up the colors for the top and bottom wings. Sometimes the same colors for everything but the middle tips. The lighter colors on the bottom and darker colors on the top makes for a dramatic effect and using bicone crystals for the bottom of the tail and head beads are nice as well.
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Northeast Florida Craft Vendors

Northeast Florida Craft Vendors really need more opportunities to sell their handcrafted wares. South and Central Florida really gets all the good events with tons of people attending until all the snow birds start heading back up north. It would be great if more of the state parks would start holding events all year long. In the late spring and summer concentrate on those parks with swimming areas. Maybe we should start our own coalition and lobby the start park event planners to allow us to hold events once a month in one or more of them in our area.

I cannot think of one state park in our area that doesn’t have a fairly large area where tents and trailers could be pitched, a small stage for local musicians to come in and play and the park visitors to come over and spend a little money. They could charge a percentage of sales as a vendor fee like the Florida Folk Festival. That seems more equitable to all parties. Most musicians would play for a small stipend or even free depending on the amount of advertising and if they were allowed to set up a table to sell the CDs.
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Enclosed Trailers For Craft Vendors

Finally, one of the trailer companies has decided to offer an enclosed trailer that fits us craft vendors. You can back it into a 10×10 space, take off the removable hitch, put the 4 little jacks under each corner and you are ready to start selling. You can add a small awning to the front to keep the weather off you and your customers, cut out one or both of the sides to put in those sliding windows with screens to let in some light and even wire up an air conditioner or ceiling fan to help keep you cool. You will probably want to paint the wooden walls, floor and ceiling or just put up some shelves and be done with it. If you’re handy with a paint brush you could paint your name and logo on the outside to advertising. But if you have a little extra money a “Wrap” might be better. Personally, I would love to paint the outside like one of those little cottages with flower pots, trees, windows and fencing. The barn doors in the back can be opened to let in some air and light or kept closed for added shelving space.
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Plan Your Vendor Ops 2017

Now is the time to plan our your craft vending opportunities for the coming year. 2017 can be your best year ever if you are able to plan which events you want to participate in, application deadlines, costs, etc. We are still in the process of gathering information about all the North Florida Craft Vending events happening in the coming months to post them here on our calendar as well as participating in some of them. I like the printed calender myself so that I can write down the information in the blocks and have a visual reminder of when the events are happening. It also helps you to plan out your costs in the coming months. Finally, depending on the number of participants in the previous years it may help you to figure out how much inventory to have on hand.
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Marketing Tips for Handcraft Artists

Crew Neck T-Shirt
Crew Neck T-Shirt
Marketing tips for handcraft artists can include some free items as well as paying for advertising on various online sources such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads and even Twitter Ads. There are many ways for you to get more people to notice your businesses and like anything else in life it takes time, perseverance and patience.

One of the simplest ways to get your handcrafts notice is to create a website/blog and start posting pictures and writing articles about your items, how you make them, where you get your supplies from and where you get your inspiration. You can get a simple website/blog for free with wordpress.com and blogger.com There are others out there that can give you a free website/blog but these two I have used in the past and still use today.
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