Monday, May 31, 2010

It Was An...

It was an
Average day in the market place,
An average day in the market place,
Would you buy something?
Could you buy something?


On Sunday Rosey and I had our second market stall, (which we will now be having every 2nd and 4th Sundy of each month at the Petrie Markets) and unfortunately it didn't go as well as the first time sales-wise. I didn't even sell half as much as last time, and only made back the cost of the site plus $2 : /  This has disappointed me, but I'm not a quitter, and I've made a commitment to at least give this a really good go for one year to get a good understanding of the markets and how my stuff sells. I'm told by experienced market stall holders that sometimes you have good weeks and others aren't so good, so hopefully that's all it is. Hopefully next time we'll do a bit better. Please come along and support Australian Handmade products by buying things at these markets, it's so much nicer to recieve something that's been carefully hand crafted by a local than to just get something that was made in bulk in some factory overseas. Give your home and your family something special.

Our stall on the day, note the cloth hiding our feet this time - a great idea of Rosey's, and the blackboard sign.

my goodies...

and Rosey's goodies. I honestly don't know why we didn't sell much. The table looked lovely, better than last time in my opnion. Must work out what we did wrong. If any kind person out there reads this and has advice for us, please please please share your wisdom, we will be very grateful.

Despite our lack of sales, we had lots of fun again. The weekend seemed to be a special event for the pine rivers shire, and there were antique cars on show, a cadet marching band, another band up at the pub, the Pine Rivers Brass Band were playing up the hill from us, and this lovely trio that I neglected to get the name of, who roamed the markets playing really fun and quirky music that was so my style. They even serenaded us with a french song and posed for this photo for me!

Looking around these markets I'm reminded of how lucky we are to live in such a beautiful and friendly country. I had so much fun at these markets on the weekend and I'm looking forward to the next time we're there. I took my quilling equipment with me this time and made two more cards while we were there, and I might do the same next time, I'm not sure. It didn't seem to attract the interest I was thinking it would and I sometimes felt like I was ignoring the passersby, so I'll just have to ponder on that and decide from there.

 I have an assignment due every week until exam block, and then I have two exams, one on the 14th and one on the 17th, and then A WHOLE MONTH OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Oh my goodness I can't wait. I can't wait to have five successfully completed courses towards my degree, and I can't wait to not have to USE MY BRAIN! It is full. I need to add on or take everything out and reorganise so that more stuff fits, seriously. I want to do more craft, and start painting this silly house, and actually relax occasionally, without guilt consuming me until I give in and go back to work. *sigh*

I will post again soon about a new addition to my market stall: gift tags!

Les passants dans la rue,
Bras dessus bras dessous,
En chantant des chansons,


(today's sign off is from my favourite french song "C'est Si Bon" by Eartha Kitt :D )

Monday, May 17, 2010

NEXT MARKET: Sunday 23rd of May

That's right, this Sunday Rosey and I are back at the Petrie Markets with another stall displaying her Itty Bitty & Pretty goods and my cards and such. I'm going to try and post again this week but there's no guarantee I'll have time because I have two assignments due on Friday and I'll be busy getting everything ready for this Sunday :)

Learning is hard. At several points this semester I've had to remind myself of "the dream" to stop myself from piking out and leaving it all behind. I have always wanted to get myself a degree, I know it's just a piece of paper but it means a lot. I have to do it, there's no backing out and the compulsory subjects that I don't like (like how to use a computer...I'm sorry, I'm studying via distance, all through a computer, shouldn't that be enough evidence to support the claim that I already know how? Apparently not : /    ... At least I'm acing the darn course.) will soon be over and I can choose my destiny from there.

Anyway, enough belly aching from me, here are some pics of the items that will be for sale this Sunday, that's the 23rd of May, 8-2pm, Petrie markets, Old Petrie Town, Dayboro Road, Petrie. Please come down and buy buy buy!

Don't stop me now,


(today's signoff - Don't Stop me now by Queen)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Quilling, Boxes, Cards and an Awkward Photo Shoot

Who would have thought that making a 'how to' photo collection would be so complex?

Well, if you are smart you'd know that before you even started. I was not that smart, and breezed into yesterday afternoon's task like it was going to be a quick and easy job. Until...

It takes two hands to quill. And another pair to take photos. I am one person. With only one pair of hands. Hmm. I really am bad at maths.

Well, it wasn't easy, but it's done now, it involved a lot of one handed posing and I've finally found a way for my ample chest to come in handy. They really give a view from my own eyes, like a day in the life of Renata the Quilling Maniac. Click on the link above and learn my friends!

In other news, I've made some more cards and done a bit more work on the boxes I posted about yesterday, here's a look:

I've given backgrounds to about twenty cards, and now I'm working through them, quilling as fast as my little hands (and study schedule) can manage. I've finished five so far and am half way through a sixth.

Another happy flower

A flutterby with happy flowers (in the style of the background)

And a vine with pretty blue and white flowers. I'll take pics of the other three once the sixth one is finished.
And Now onto the boxes. I've covered the outside of three of the five, I still haven't found the right paper for the other two yet.

I love all three, but the one on the right is my favourite, it just looks so happy. I've still got to put the quilled roses and such on the tops of the lids obviously.

The light blue has a subtle floral paper, for an elegently understated look.

I expected this to be my favourite, and I do love it, it's fancy and feminine, but some how the next one just makes me happy...

Maybe it's the spots, or maybe it's all the colour, I don't know. I just love it.

What do you think? Or should I save that question for after I've added the fancies to the top? Probably. Anyway, time to go and write the part two page.

Don't worry, Be happy,

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I know, I know. I said I'd post the next part of my 'how to quill' series last week, and I haven't. I'm sorry.

You see, I'm studying full time at university, and just yesterday an essay worth 40% of my final grade in a course for my major was due. So I dropped off the face of the blogging world. I attempted to take breaks and quill sometimes, but guilt kept winning and I wouldn't be able to consentrate.

I have also been participating in an event with my husband - the house de-crapping! He started cleaning out his study last week, and I realised what a dump mine was too, so I have been going through all that junk and throwing crap away and putting the good things I don't need aside for other people. Very cathartic.

As we all know, Sunday was Mother's Day, and I went and saw my wonderful mother and delivered a pretty hibiscus plant and a nice painted terracotta pot for it to her and gave her some cuddles. Happy Mother's Day Mummy :)

I also saw my darling mother in law, who had given me a hint about what she would like a while back. I made her a black string of beads of different shapes and sizes, and I also made this little box for them to live in:

I made it black and white to match the black necklace that she'd asked for, and quilled the roses on top and added some black leaves. Later on i added a little gift tag to it, also in black and white, with silver writing.

I liked this little box so much that I've decided to add some other designs to my 'things to sell at the markets' list.  and I've started making five:

 So far all I've done is paint the insides pretty colours that will match their outsides (Note that the pink and purple have since recieved their second coats, the other three were already done when I took this), but already I can tell these will be very cute. I will post picks of the final products when they're done.

I'll come back and post again soon, and I promise that part two of 'how to quill' will be up within 48 hours of this post.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there,


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Starting the Improvements

From the wonderful experience at our first market, I have learned a lot and am making some changes as a result.

While most of the day did go quite smoothly, I had an incident early in the day and a couple more times towards the end. See, I had my jewellery set up on a cork board that was sitting on an old recipe book holder. Apparently, this was not a wind-resistant set-up.

Half an hour into the morning I was leaning down behind the table to check on something and I felt a thud on the back of my head. At first I was a bit dazed and didn’t know what had happened, but when I saw a kind stranger picking all the jewellery out of the dirt by our stall I realised. Tip: Metal recipe book holders may seem stable, but they aren’t and could easily double as a weapon.

I thanked the man profusely for his help, gathered all the items and put the display back together. Then at about lunch time it fell down again (this time my head was thankfully not in the crash zone) and I put it up again, only to have it fall a third time just a few minutes later, and this time I lost one earring and a painting was damaged. So I gave up and put the whole lot away. Oh well, no one had so much as admired one of the items all day anyway.

So I started thinking: How can I display my wares without ending up with a brain injury?

As I don’t intend to focus on my jewellery anymore, and the crowds were drawn in by the cards, I thought some way to have some of them sitting up for all to see would be handy, rather than having them all just lying on the table like I did. The answer came to me while roaming the glorious aisles of Spotlight- a tiny set of drawers!

I grabbed the plain wooden set, a few shades of paint, some wrapping paper and went on my merry way, along with another set of 50 plain cards to turn into quilling works of art later.

One afternoon when I should have been studying later, and I had this:

Cute right? I went for the colour scheme of this website to make it all cute and matchy.

Note how the sturdy structure is a lot less likely to blow off a table at the slightest breeze.

Here they are displaying some cards as I plan to at the next market:

I think that it will be effective.

In other news, my business cards finally arrived yesterday. Handy huh? I had to make temporary ones at ten thirty the night before the markets. At least they arrived at all though. I'll have them there next time, and I'll be keeping some in my wallet and also adding them to the package of any purchase bought online.

Now, I said I'd make part two of my 'How to Quill' lessons yesterday, and instead I painted these drawers (I'm calling procrastinators anonymous tomorrow), so I think I'll go do that now, before burrowing into my studying nest.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Another Milestone

I've sold my first card online on!!!

The Dragonfly Card!

Dragonflies and butterflies seem to be my area of expertise, so I think I'll be making more like them. Having sold 18 items now (yes, that's right, my lucky number again), I feel quite giddy. I think I'll celebrate by making more cards :)

I'm also going to make some gift tags to sell in sets at the next market that we go to. Stay tuned to the How To Quill series, I'm going to make part two today and probably post it tonight or tomorrow. I've also been given a tip on a good way to display my beautiful cards and I'll be making that soon too, so lots more posting to come this week.

I think I need to have a cup of tea to calm myself down.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Our Market Debut

Yesterday the lovely Rosey and I had our very first stall in the Petrie Markets.Ah, the smell of success.Yesterday it was in the atmosphere along with smells like fresh air, camp fires, kettle corn and lavendar.

The day went very well, and lots of my creations have gone home with new owners. I sold 17 of my quilled cards (hmm, caught 18 fish, sold 17 cards...weird...)I will be very busy making more of the ones that sold, so more pretty cards will be available soon. If you missed out on one that you wanted, let me know via the email address to the right and I will make you one (keep in mind it won't be identical, I am doing this all by hand. But hours will be spent to make your card wonderful.).

By the end of the day the table was starting to look bare, so I'm hoping to make more than I had this time, so that I can keep placing more cards in the empty spaces as they appear.

I have learned lots from this experience. Like-
1: Bring a calculator next time. When you are all flustered and excited because you are making a sale, it takes longer to add up in your head, and that could look unprofessional. Plus it will just make the experience easier and I'll have more brain power to chat with.
2: Going by what sold early on in the day, I now know the style of items that sell best, and can focus on them.
3: Lots of stalls sell jewellery, so my little bit of jewellery was hardly noticed. None of it sold. I haven't decided for sure whether I will try to sell it there again, but clearly the cards are where my talents lie.
4: Get some sort of brochure-type stand to display the better cards in a way that will draw people in more. We did get lots of sales, but I think with more of the good stock and displayed better, it could do even better than that.
5: Wind is a factor. Don't have anything displayed on anything that can fall over due to the wind.
6: People are interested in quilling and it might be a good idea to sell starter kits and instructions, and perhaps even do some quilling while I'm there to show people how the cards are made. I'm going to start a "How To" page here on my blog too.
7: The Petrie Markets are wonderful. Beautiful place, great sounds and smells, fresh air, lots of families, delicious food and so many cool stalls there are too many to list. I sincerely recommend them.
8: Rosey is an excellent market buddy
9: People are nice. Thank you to all of our shoppers :)
10: People in my family who came out just to see my stall are the nicest. Thank you to my Mummy and my Grampa, my husband's Mum, Dad and sister Louise, to Kathy and Matt, and to Rosey's beautiful family and friends. You all helped our debut go very well, and you are all gorgeous.

My First Sale. An obvious choice I must say. I will be making lots more of these butterflies in lots more colours to sell at future markets and on my madeit shop.

We won't be at the markets every week, as my fingers just don't work fast enough to create that much stock, but we will go regularly, like once a fortnight or once a month or something. We haven't settled on the dates for sure just yet, but I'll of course be posting here when the next one is coming up. So stay tuned.

Stay gorgeous,


Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Shop is Open Again! And Markets!

That's right, I'm back so the shop is open again! Yay!

RenataClarkeDesigns on madeit

And tomorrow I will be there, at the Petrie Markets, in person, selling lots of the goodies that you've seen here on my blog. I will be taking a camera and give you a detailed report of my sales achievements when the day is done. If however you can't wait that long and are in the Brisbane area, come along! It's a beautiful property, full of lovely stalls with all sorts of goodies, and I'm sure that if you want something for you, or a loved one, say, your mother *hint hint*, there would be plenty of options for anything from a gift to a card to give her, even at my very own stall with my very own Rosey.

Here's some info on the markets and what else you can see there :)

Old Petrie Town Markets |

Mother's Day is a week from tomorrow everybody, now what more would your dear mother want than a handmade item from a market, hand-picked by you? Plus you get a great day out out of it.

So please, I beg you, come and support the co-mingling of Renata Clarke Designs & Itty Bitty & Pretty!!!


Tanned and Wiser

I'm baaaaack...

I will first blog of pleasure, then another post on business shortly after this.

I had a lovely holiday. I learned how to fish, and I caught 18 of them! And 18 is my lucky number too! Only 2 keepers though, a whiting and a brim. The rest were only babies and Matt let them off the hook and sent them home again.

Burrum Heads is a lovely, quiet, friendly place to stay. Only the essentials when it comes to shops (eg, a butcher, an excellent bakery, a bait shop, an IGA, etc.), but that's all you need really for a week away. The house we stayed in was beautiful and we felt very much at home there.

"Lynman Inn", our home away from home. (this photo was taken by Matt, not me. Credit where credit is due.)

Aside from fish, we saw lots of other wildlife! It was so great, we saw a few runny babbits (hares really, but you get the point), a green tree frog was under our house one day along with his two marsh frog friends (one of whom later snuck into our fishing bag and went out to the beach with us x) silly frog). Kangaroos were nearby and yes we did have to stop for one who hopped across the street in front of us, lucky we spotted him early on and were crawling along at the time. There were always dogs running around on the beach (friendly ones only), and THOUSANDS of soldier crabs, that burrow into the sand to hide when you get near them, along with hermit crabs, sand crabs and other little creatures all over the beach, but I've saved the best for last...

Turtles! Not on the sand, in the water. When the tide is out at Burrum Heads, you can walk out really far along the sand, over coral and rocks, to fish or just go for a walk. We fished from this spot on the rocks (which appears to be some sort of coral shelf going by the behaviour of the animals in the water below) a few times during our holiday.

Then on Thursday we were fishing away there when the BIGGEST TURTLE I HAVE EVER SEEN popped his head up from under the water to get some air. I would say that in length he'd have been as big as a golden retriever! I could have had a ride on that shell easy. But I wouldn't. He was only about ten metres away from us at the time, I've never seen one in the wild that close up before. We didn't get a photo because they are up for a few seconds and then disappear under the sea again, and I'm not quick enough for that.

Then on Friday, out there again, we spotted one about the size of a dinner plate, swimming right near the edge of the rocks we were standing on, about five metres away! And THEN...One about the size...of...oh, I know, a school bag...yes. He popped up several times that day, and at one point he swam towards me, stopped directly in front of me, facing me, popped his head up and had a look at me!


I have since put turtles at the top of my prefered pets list. I love them.

I have more photos of this adventure but they are loaded onto a different computer so I'll post them another time. I have come back tanned, a fan of fishing, and eager to get back to business, which is handy seeing as I'll be at the markets in the morning :s -please don't let it rain, please don't let it rain- fingers crossed. See my newest post for more info on the markets. Eep!