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Advice for Renaissance Faire Merchants--dealing with shows

advice merchanting life new shows renaissance faires

Advice for Renaissance Faire Merchants--dealing with shows

I get asked a LOT for advice for folks starting out in an arts and crafts business, and I've given this advice in bits and pieces before, but this I wrote in response to a blog post my friend made, and all of it is valid. As a merchant I have a few golden rules about events: --if the show is new, give them a chance. Usually 2-3 years to really get rolling. (If you go, don't make money, AND they're nasty and mean to you, don't go back, but if they're nice and you have fun, give them a...

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A Good Sale

crown good sale inspiration ohmyheart tiara

A Good Sale

I've told this story a million times, so bear with me. One of my favorite things to make is tiaras/crowns.  I've made them for ritual wear, for weddings, for fuck-it-I-want-to-wear-a-crown,  and I particularly love those sales; it's because those are going to someone who honestly does not give a fuck and is wearing my art because they love it. But one. Oh my goddess, this one. A beautiful woman came up to my booth-- she was 80 if she was a day.  Spent a while looking through all my stuff, and then ended up buying a crown. Over the course...

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Headpieces, oh my!

blister pearls crone goddess headpiece LED maiden mother

Headpieces, oh my!

I've been making headpieces for a while, and really truly love them madly.   But recently got my hands on some LED light strings and my inner fantasy geek is replete.   I love the design of the triple moon, and now I can add stars!  I am going to make silly amounts of this one, I can tell. (Model is my husband, having a good hair day.)

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Biodiesel soap...and a confession.

biodiesel oops science soap

Ok, confession time given that a client just sent me a picture of my soap, decorated and looking dangerously edible. I messed around quite a while a few years ago with making soap from biodiesel byproducts. (Mostly glycerine is left over when you make biodiesel). It worked really well as soap, but was hard to sell; mostly because the texture always stayed soft. So I mucked around with making liquid biodiesel soap as well. (I can say if you do this, it's one of the best grease-stripping agents on the planet, seriously. Just hard to ship or transport.) Because of...

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Lilacs in spring...or are they?

essential oils lilac scent science

Here's a science Monday factoid for you: Lilac essential oil. Does it exist? Answer: not really. It doesn't respond well to steam distillation, and the yield is so tiny that REAL lilac essential oil would cost a few thousand dollars per ounce IF you can find it which mostly you can't. The good news is that synthetics have become increasingly more sophisticated over time, even in the time I've been making and selling soap. I have sniffed my way through probably a hundred different lilac fragrance oils, and have happily settled in with one that smells like my mom's yard...

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