Handmade In Keswick at Craftfest

Friday, 27 April 2012

An Explanation

My apologies to all those of you who have been looknng for the latest post from Found In Keswick - please pop back in a few days time and all should be back to normal.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Research into Tinnitus

What is Tinnitus?

Tinnitus is a much misunderstood condition which causes unidentified noises in the head of the sufferer.  The word actually means whistling or similar, but symptoms can vary hugely from person to person.  It can be a humming, a noise like a chuffing train, or one of many other noises.

Causes are not really known - although a lot of sufferers have a history of working in a loud environment which may have caused damage. 

Some people are lucky and simply suffer a mild or short term problem, but some others can suffer a noise so loud that it blocks out normal life almost completely, sometimes getting some respite and sometimes not.

What treatment is available?

As there is no scientifically provable information available, treatment is still rather hit and miss.  Some people find hearing aids help, others use 'white noise', or find counselling helps to find ways to 'trick' the brain into not hearing the noise.  Some people just struggle on, even though life is very difficult.

What research is being carried out?

Today, as never before, those who are affected by tinnitus have new and very real hope that tinnitus can be treated. Human clinical trials for this potential treatment could begin as early as 2013 if we can raise the funds needed.

For the month of April, 50% of all takings made by my

etsy shop and my
folksy shop,

or via any other outlet, will be donated to the http://www.tinnitus.org.uk/research-appeal-2011.

If you have time, have a look at both shops cos the stock is mostly different, and help if you can.

And will you share this on, using the FB /Twitter buttons below?

Many thanks

Weather in Keswick

Still scraping the ice off the car, and still got the thin wind, even though its sunny.  About 6°C.  Bored with this weather now.


Sunday, 15 April 2012

Free Marketing Opportunity

Would you like to be featured on this blog?

Regular readers know that I'm still rather new to this blogging lark and haven't really found a rhythm yet, but one thing I do know is that I know/have met a lot of very interesting folk, so even if I've got nowt to say, they will have (hopefully).

So I'm looking for people to feature.

Not sure if this is for you?

Can you answer any ONE of the following questions with a yes?
Do you have a creative job or hobby?
Do you have a non creative job or hobby which others seem to find fascinating for some reason?
Do you run an interesting venue?
Do you have a commercial, charity, or community event (Cumbria or international) coming up which you'd like to promote?
Do you run any kind of cottage industry?
Do you run any kind of business in Keswick/Cumbria?

Yes? Then get in touch and send me a link/tell me a bit and I'll rough out some 'interview' questions, you answer 'em and send me any links, photos and Bob's your uncle.  I'll also link to my Facebook page  and tweet and if I can I'll pin it. 

Mustn't forget the weather!

Temp only 11°C and cold, thin wind, but GLORIOUS sunshine, and clearish skies, sheltered spots are quite warm.  Bit of hail yesterday, but hardly any rain for ages so bike trails, crags and walking trails all pretty good going. A smidge of snow on the top, but nothing to work with.  Quite a few folk out in tents.


Thursday, 12 April 2012

Best Seller At Craft Fair

Ever been surprised by the popularity of a product?

Even if the only sales counter you've ever manned has been at a car boot or rummage sale, you won't need me to tell you that it's always the stuff you didn't bring enough of which sells well.  (And often not the item you were hoping to get shifted).

That was true for me at last week's Easter Fair.  I don't know why it took me by surprise, but these notebooks were the order of the day.

Best seller

The very best seller!

I also took a new product with me to test market, and sold out.  - So, until I get hold of some more materials, I don't even have a photo!  Bad planning there I feel.


The best non seller

I also got a commission from someone when they saw this handmade book for sale

I need to give myself a talking to about that, as I've always tried to body swerve commissions and personalised items - due to FEAR, pure cold FEAR - but this one book has provided me with commission orders two craft fairs on the trot, so I need to capitalise on that.

As soon as I've got some new photos, I'll show you the new mystery product. 

Next time I'm hoping that I'll have an interview with one of the interesting folk I've met recently.

In the meantime, heeeeere's the weather:

Snow on the tops and a thin wind in the valleys.  Temperature shot up to 20°C for a very brief period today, before settling at about 11°C.  We've had regular bright, sunny period, but also some hail.


Sunday, 8 April 2012

Easter Fair at Keswick Museum and Art Gallery

Just a few piccies from the craft fair.

Most important stand of the lot

A lot of chinwagging - not so much buying

         "I was gonna make the cakes This big,
          but decided they're better THIS BIG"

 You'll notice I have no close ups - that's because I did forget an important Craft Fair tip after all

Always recharge the battery on your camera/phone before you go!


Not much of interest to report -rather grey and mizzley.  A bit of a wind, so the crags may well be dry, but doesn't make for enjoyable climbing. Temp 11°C.

Friday, 6 April 2012

Preparing For A Craft Fair

Whats the best tip for preparing for a Craft Fair?

I've spent the last few days preparing for a local craft fair in Keswick.  Its an Easter Fair at Keswick Museum.

I'm not exactly experienced at this kind of event, but I have done a couple now, and I've found that priorities aren't necessarily what I thought they were (that is making a TON of stuff and selling EVERYTHING).


Obviously have plenty of stock, but be prepared to take orders from people as well.  That way, it doesn't matter if you didn't bring enough stock -and it also looks like you looking like a rabbit in headlights when someone asks you to make and send them something which isn't on your stand.

If you have an online shop, you'll need to develop a system where you know what you have sold and, unless you can reproduce it, you take it off your shop.  That may be easy if the show if is in a venue where you can pick up your shop on a Smart phone and you have time to remove online items as they sell (and remove them from your stand if they sell online). 

But unless you've tested that out, you may well find it easier to close online outlets for the day and manually record sales made at the fair for updating later.


Setting up your stand may leave you a gibbering wreck, so REHERSE, REHERSE, REHERSE (after all it is showtime).  Don't leave to the last minute to work out whats going where either.  

If you know that you're the kind of person who works better under stress, then picture this scenario:

You realise you need more double sided tape the day before your show, you drive, first 3 miles, then a further 20 miles to find that you can only find tiny rolls of the stupid skinny stuff when you want big fat rolls of wide; you drive another 20 miles to the shop you know has the right stuff (sweating a bit now) only to find that they're out of stock.  You drive 43 miles home, stopping at the first shop and spending a fortune on 27 rolls of skinny tape which you are now going to spend even more HOURS applying to things you wanted done last night really.

Got palpitations yet?  Good, if you want stress, come back and read this again, and then, do yourself a favour and plan ahead.  Otherwise, you could learn the hard way, like...erm...I did.

 Think about what are you doing to bring people to your stand,  and to engage them?

Not quite got there yet

Return customers.

A craft fair is an exercise in marketing.  You may or may not sell a lot on the day, but you'll need to find a way of staying in people's minds - whether its with freebies, vouchers, collecting their contact info.


Plan layered clothing, comfortable footwear, food and drinks.

Extreme high heel ballet fetish shoes

How you feel WILL become more important than how your business is going if you get this wrong.


As well as reviewing what worked and what didn't, you'll need to update online shop (and you may find that your method for tracking sales at the fair now comes into the 'what worked, what didn't' section.

Tell everyone what a wonderful job you did, by writing press releases, social media postings etc.

And only then, can you put yourself in that bubble bath and tell yourself 'never again'.

So I suppose next time, I'll be telling you how I got on.

In the mean time, has anyone got any tips for me?

And finally...
the weather
Just a sprinkle of snow on Causey Pike
Only a few days ago, folk were slathering on the sun cream, mowing lawns, and lighting BarBQs, then we had the sideways snow, and everyone battened down the hatches. 

Mind you, whilst the rest of Northern England has had several inches of snow, Keswick has taken a turn for the better.  We did have a day of 'thin' wind, as they say in these parts (so thin it goes right through you), and the temperature has dropped considerably: -4°C Thursday morning, but the skies have cleared and we have glorious sun again.  Its just not bikini weather now.

Monday, 2 April 2012

Weather in Keswick

Just a v quick word today

Weather in Keswick and North Lakes

Day time temperature has suddenly dropped to 6 °C, and its been raining for the first time in a while.  Apparently the rumour is true, its going to snow tomorrow!

Whilst you're snowed in, do me a favour and have another look at this link and then someone tell me the easiest way to make a clickable picture link.


More next time