Handmade In Keswick at Craftfest

Friday, 31 August 2012

September Craftfest

We are open

After weeks of preparation and planning, we have got there.  Stall holders nervously tweaking and rearranging, but we are open for business

180 stalls with a variety of gifts, fashion, art, homeware, baby things, wedding, food, pampering - all sorts.

And the beauty of online retailing is that new products can be added any time, so customers can come back and find something new. 

This fest, I have items from my EtsyWowThankYou, and Folksy shops, and I will be adding some new items during the week (just as soon as it stops raining for long enough for me to take some bright photos).

Come on in 

PS. here's a little update 

We've been open 8 hours and had over 4,000 visitors already 92% of them unique.

Weather In Keswick

I said before - further up.  Now lets not dwell on it.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Its Nearly Time

 September Craftfest

(this is a long post - you might want to grab a cup of tea)

With just about a week to go until the next Craftfest event, I thought I'd better have a plan for how I'm going to approach it (I did this prior to the last event, which was my first here).

It is different this time because I am Promotions Team Leader (I think it was something to do with me having the plan last time, or maybe it was cos I mentioned a spreadsheet...), but the basics for me personally are about the same.  There's just more of it.



My objective is about the same; some sales would be good, but I'm taking the long view and want to improve my Search Engine Optimisation.  



I hoping that, if I can get Handmade In Keswick mentioned enough times in enough different places, in enough different ways, then that will improve my Google rating, so I get found more easily, over a long period of time, by my potential customers.

Nitty Gritty


So, with that in mind, I intend promoting everyone else's stalls until my head explodes, in the hope that some of them will do the same for me.

 Star Trek move (First Contact)  


I've made a start by 'friending' all the stallholders and inviting them to join us on the Promotions Team, and tell us where else on the net we can find their business.

I am now following all of 'em on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Stumbleupon, LinkedIn, circled Etsy sellers, and gradually working through reading, sharing and Stumbling and following blogs (some blogs are easier to follow than others I find).

Then The Work Begins

And I have Stumbled at least one page from nearly everyone's Craftfest stall so far, will be doing the same via Pinterest, and Wanelo, and I have voted for Craftfesters on Craftjuice.  I've written a couple of press releases, and also been blogging about the event as well as how we go about coming up with ideas , trying to draw in the lurkers
and more specific information about CraftJuice
and Stumbleupon

During The Craftfest event


Every day, from Saturday 1st to Saturday 8th, I'll be blogging -last time it was about everyone in the Team I was in, but I'm not gonna manage that for every single stall holder !! Each blog will be posted on my Handmade In Keswick Facebook Page; Tweeted; Pinned; and Stumbled, shared on the Creative Connections Ning, various forums and teams that I belonged to. 
I'll also be encouraging the rest of the stallholders in group promotions.  It'll give us all a bit of focus and hopefully be a lot of fun. Every day, I'll post new tasks on to Promotions Group thread, divided up into 3 sections: - so that those who are keen can get a chunk of work done; and those who are short of time, and also those who prefer non social media promoting, can still all contribute (hopefully).

Its going to be a lot of work, but I'm going to be using the schedulers on Facebook and Blogger and Tweetdeck to help me so that I can get some of the work done in advance.  
And for the 3 minutes I won't be online in the next 2 weeks? 

My day job finishes at the end of September, and as much as I'd love to do all this full time, we all know how the economic climate is when you're selling stuff at the mo, so I'll be looking for a new day job...unless...maybe...what if...Harrods see my work during Craftfest and place a massive order!!


One more thing. At the end of the whole thing, I'll be asking the Festers for feedback so we can evaluate and adjust for November Craftfest.

Weather In Keswick

Who cares about the weather! Get yourself on Twitter (#Craftfest)

Comments please

What are your objectives?
Put them on the Promotions Thread as well if you like. 

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Well what do you know!

Its Craftjuice Tuesday Again!

And here are more artists-craftspeople who will be showing their wares at Craftfest 1st Sept - 9th Sept at creative-connections.ning.com.

Until then, I know they'd all appreciate you visiting them at Craftjuice (click through) and giving them your vote (by clicking the blue up arrow).
Kerri Robberts
Cola Creations
BB Beads

And The Weather In Keswick?

Did I mention the weird thing in the sky the other day?  Looked like the underside of the space ship to meApparently it was a sun dog.

Friday, 17 August 2012

Printmaker Jim

We haven't had an interview on here for a bit, so here's Jamie Barnes, a local lad (well almost) who makes lovely architectural prints.

Over to you Jamie

My background is as a Curator. I have been working in art galleries and museums throughout Cumbria and North Lancs for the last 15 years and I studied Art History at University. I have always been around art and artists, and I have always been keen on drawing, but I only got serious about making my own artwork about 4 years ago.

I am principally a printmaker who makes work about buildings. I use three main printmaking techniques: drypoint engraving, aquatint etching and trace monotype.

I work from the front parlour of my house. If I can get at least a half day for making art, then I will bring out a reference photograph I have taken or work on an image from my imagination which I have been thinking about for a long time. Using this imagery I will make a printmaking plate and try to end the day by making a test print or short edition on my etching press.

My biggest inspiration is from looking at manmade structures and industrial-type buildings set in the rural landscape. At the moment I am commuting a lot between Kendal and Penrith in Cumbria and I am taking a lot of inspiration from the area on and around Shap summit. I think this interest may lead to a printmaking exhibition next year.

Working with artists as a Curator on a daily basis gives me the fantastic opportunity to ask them questions about how they work, and this inevitably feeds into my knowledge and understanding. Also, I am very inspired by the Fellside neighbourhood of Kendal where I live and how the houses are stacked up the hillside.

I am taking part in C-Art Cumbria Artists Open Studios 1-16 Sept this year and Green Door Art Trail 5-7 October. I am also about to launch a range of new greetings cards based on my fantastical illustrations of buildings.

Thanks Jamie

So if you live near enough, or if you're holidaying in or near Cumbria this September/October, why not come and take a look. (Click through the links within the text for more information).

Weather In Keswick

Wet, dry, wet, dry, wet, dry...WET

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Its Craftjuice Tuesday Craftfest Thing

Today, my Craftjuice Tuesday selection is made up from the work of my fellow Craftfesters who are busy making new product in preparation for the next event during the first week in September.

I think that will have to do for this week.  Please do visit each of them and give them a Craftjuice voteand if you really like an item, share it with your mates

You'll be able to see more of their work on 
on 1st to 8th September.


Weather In Keswick 

Don't know 'bout Keswick.  I was at Ullswater today, which was heaving with folk sunning themselves and eating ice cream and swimming in the lake, and canoeing, and admiring the fantastic scenery.
I didn't have my camera with me (soz)

Saturday, 11 August 2012

Who Remembers This?

 Progress Of Our Collaboration

 A while back, I blogged about collaborating with some other artists in a 'round robin' initiated by the Crafty Folk Blog

We started with this image, provided by Dawn
and I thought I'd let you know how she's been getting on.

After she'd been to the hairdresser's at my house

our gal went to stay with Hannah
who added a bit of glamour to her outfit.

By the time she got to Karen, an extra dimension was needed in this makeover.

and she has since made her way to Jen
who brought an arty background to the piece
So she's on her travels again, and who knows how she'll look by the end of this.  She's gotta go through a Goth stage surely?..
Anyway, the fantastic resulting piece will be the giveaway on the Crafty Folk Blog, so keep following.

Weather In Keswick

I'm very happy to report, that we're back to sunny, warm, DRY weather here in the Lake District.  I am now covered in midge bites, stinging nettle rash and a bit of sunburn, but that's another tale.


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Are you a lurker?

No, I'm not looking for Peeping Toms...

and I'm certainly not looking for dogging sites!  

I mean, do you join sites and teams, read forum and threads, (and read blogs) and think to yourself 
'well that's all very interesting, but I have nothing to add'?

Shock Revelation

I know that a lot of you will find this difficult to believe, but I do a bit of quiet lurking myself.

'Hello, my name is Lu - and I am a lurker"

Let's lurk together

Lets form a band, let's hold hands, and sing a song (oh Ok, maybe not that then) - we could still lurk together though.
Don't worry, I'll stand at the front and do all the talking, all you have to do is smile and nod politely in the crowd.

Have you got a stall on Craftfest?

 I know, I know - I'm always banging on about Craftfest, but I'm just peering out to see how many lurkers there are out there.  There can't be too many, cos most of the stall holders seem to be on the forum supporting each other, offering tips, word of mouthing each others stuff and generally spending far too much time on the internet and not enough time making stuff (oops sorry, I think that's me).

But what about the lurkers?  The ones who are a bit short of time? Or not that confident?  Or just not that keen on t'internet? And who are...wait for it...making stuff to sell?

Lurkers need help promoting their work too

If you're an artist and/or craftsperson (I deliberately didn't say Artist with a capital A, or craftsperson with a capital C - don't want to scare anyone) then you deserve a bit of promoting yourself.

If you do just one thing...

...then click on this link 
and type these words after me 
'Hello, my name is ...(insert your own name here)...and I am a lurker'

click Add Comment.  That's it, you don't need to do anything else, just stand in the crowd, smile and nod (and maybe put up a poster when the time comes). 

If you're an Artist and/or Craftsperson (see caps on that time) and you haven't got a stall yet, you can join the 154 other stall holders who are mostly doing the aforementioned promoting/supporting/advising thing  here (then come back and read this post again).

If none of the above applies to you, but you're feeling nosey, then visit us at the event 1 September till 8 September 2012.

Weather In Keswick

I hardly dare say it, so I'm typing it small.  Someone said its gonna stop raining this week.