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In the Mind of a Maker Series 2: How to Not Be an A-hole at a Vendor Market

Spring is the in the air, the birds are chirping and the weather is warming up. That means that some of us will begin “Market” season.  I have been working on building my inventory, but I do feel like I have a long way to go.

But this is a post for those people who ATTEND the markets. Most of us work very hard on our “products”. I personally have smashed fingers with a sledgehammer, burned the shit out of my hands with a glue gun and peeled layers of skin off while trying to remove toxic glue from my fingers. It is glorious to think that we just stroll out into our workshop, studio, garage or whatever, waive our magic wand and magically create something A-M-AZ-I-N-G. I know, I know….you have seen the beautiful pictures on Instagram and Facebook. Uh-huh….those are posted in between band-aids and headaches.

So, as you head out this spring to visit these hard working folks keep these tips in mind.

Here are some tips on how to not be an A-Hole at a Vendor Market:

how to not be an a-holeFIRST AND FOREMOST….please for the love of all things…do NOT go into a booth and say shit like, “I could make that”.  Not only is that rude as fuck to the maker but it makes you look like a complete A-hole. Wait until you are in your car – far far away from anyone who will hear you say something so stupid.

Secondly, do NOT take pictures of products so that you can go home and “copy” them. Why the hell do you think they invented Pinterest? So that you can steal other people’s ideas, duh. So instead of making it blatantly obvious that you are a copy cat A-hole, just go home and use the good old internet.

Third, if you complain about the prices you deserve to get throat punched. Remember the smashed fingers and bleeding heart I mentioned above? Okay, I didn’t mention the bleeding heart, but it is a condition that often presents itself. The work is hard and doesn’t always turn out the way we imagine, so when someone actually comes up with a price for their products (this is a talent in and of itself), you better just shut the hell up and pay it or smile and walk away.   

The fourth way how to not be an A-hole at a market is to avoid the 3 C’s. Do not criticize, critique or be cruel. Save it for another time and place. There is nothing more personal than someone laying out their made items for the world to see. It takes guts to do it. I often waiver if I am “good enough” to be at certain markets. So, if you want to be an A-hole and say mean shit, then you need to stay home. Because we don’t want to hear it. We critique ourselves enough. Believe me.

The fifth and final way on my list is to take a minute to compliment the maker. One of the coolest things that people have said to me is that my stuff was “unique” or “different” or “I’ve never seen anything like that before”. Maybe they are really thinking that it is awful, terrible stuff and they would never be caught dead buying it, but those comments resonate with me. My goal is to be different and unique. As with most makers, I want to have a product that you haven’t seen before. I want you to come to my booth and feel inspired or uplifted. There is nothing better than a kind word. When I get one, my day is made. It is much easier to be hateful. So don’t be an A-hole and say something nice. It feels good for you and me.

So, hopefully you have read all of the tips and thought to yourself, “Yes, I do that, I’m an A-hole”. Hopefully, you have decided that you won’t do it anymore. Make sure you share with your friend who is coming along with you. Because when you say something to someone about their work, whether positive or negative, you might as well be telling them that they have an ugly baby. And that would make you a complete A-hole.






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Series: In the Mind of a Maker…How I Really Feel

mind of a makerI have to warn you, if you don’t like swearing, you may want to turn away now. I started to blog a few years ago. I’m an upcycler/repurposer and wanted to share my love for my projects with the world. Okay, let’s face it, I had a job I totally hated and was trying to create an alternate source of income. It didn’t work. After a year, I think I made 50 cents and I was extremely frustrated. Fast forward and now I decided that I would rather write about the psychology of a “Maker”. Because it can be really fucked up sometimes.

Sunshine and Rainbows

I haven’t been able to really think of myself as a “maker”. That seems like a term used for the cool kids. But, I think I may qualify now. Check out my projects when you get a chance. Anyways, this post is about what it is like for ME as a “Maker”, I cannot speak for everyone. However, I’m hoping that some of my peeps will read this and say, “Oh yah that is TOTALLY me!” And if not, well then…Oh well. Although we wear smiles most of the time, it isn’t always sunshine and rainbows.

The Dark Side in the Mind of a Maker

Most creative people I know have a Dark Side. I don’t mean they cut up bunnies or steal candy from babies. I mean they have moments of depression, despair, and disbelief. We will call them the Triple D’s. And, I’m not talking about bra size. These are the days where things become so overwhelming that it is difficult to even know where to begin. As I mentioned before, I haven’t considered myself a “Maker” until recently. Now, that the spring is upon us, it is almost market season. I have two shows I’m participating in. And these are the things that go through the mind of a maker (me anyways)….”What if nobody likes my stuff?”, “What if I don’t sell anything?”, “What if my prices are too high or too low?”, “What if my booth looks stupid”, “What if, what if, what if”…..So, here is what happens for me. I get myself all riled up and can’t move forward. Stuck in the muck of my mind fuck.

When I go into my garage/workshop/storage area I want to start to work on stuff and then feel so overwhelmed by my own fears that I freeze and can’t do anything. And then, since I don’t get anything done, I freak out that I’m not getting anything done. It is a vicious, vicious cycle.

Working on It

 So…what am I going to do about it? I’m a firm believer in creating your own destiny. Now, the stars don’t always align EXACTLY the way that I would like them to, but that is the universe letting me know that I can’t control everything. Or it is telling me to chill the fuck out. One or the other.  As I mentioned above, I hated my job, so I thought I would create a blog and put in ads and make a bunch of money. Right? There are a bunch of people that say that shit on Pinterest. What-evs. So, that plan didn’t work. After lots of tears (yes, I’m a cryer)…and lots of “opportunities” gone array, I feel like I’m in a good place.  I have a part time job that allows me to use my education and knowledge and then use my creativity as a “Maker”. I am turning 39 years old this year, so for fuck’s sake, I needed to get my shit together. Okay, so back to my insecurity about the upcoming markets….

I have been reading and compiling lists of how to have a successful show, how to have an awesome booth, etc. I can do that laying in my bed at night scrolling through Pinterest. That is proactive, isn’t it?

So, here is something that I have learned as I get older….It is OK to ask for help! It doesn’t mean that I’m an idiot or don’t know anything. Sometimes things just look different from an outsider. Okay, so I’m going to mock up my booth and have a friend come and give me some advice. She is REALLY good at that crap. And I’m going to focus on things that I know how to do, and not try and recreate the wheel. Or whatever people say nowadays.

Now that I’m at the end of this post, I’m realizing that this was just an opportunity to pep myself up. The sun is shining and the weather is warming up, so I’m going to get my list together and get some shit done. Right after I take a nap.


If you have any advice for me that you would like to share, I would love to hear it! And if you got this far, you are truly awesome and thanks for reading about the mind of a maker! More to come.



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Sexy Spindles

I haven’t written anything in a looooong time. I was burnt out from trying to think of new ideas, take cool pictures, edit the pictures, write all of the text and then post a bazillion different places. It is way more fun to do something when you are doing it for FUN! So, here I am….AGAIN.

My grandfather passed away in early 2010. In his earlier days (and mine too) he was a really cool Grandpa. I would sit on his lap and he would sneak candy to me. He would give me quarters and always enjoy my pretend dinner I would make for him. One of my favorite memories was visiting him and my grandma in Florida and him making fresh orange juice. Yummy!

candlebeforeAnyways, when he passed away, another part of my childhood passed away too as we all moved up a level on the family org chart, so I covet the small things that I have to remember him and my grandma. Recently, my dad was going through some of his things and came across this old double lamp side table.

It was dusty and full of cobwebs, but it was my grandpa’s. My dad asked me if I wanted it as a “project” and of course I didn’t hesitate! Once I started really looking at it, I lost a little motivation. Even if I painted it, where would I put it – if I kept it? Who would buy it – if I tried to sell it?

As I typically do…I started to look at the table ANOTHER way. Oh, all of those wonderful, Sexy Spindles! I just love them! The possibilities are endless. So, I took her apart. (My furniture is always a she)

My parent’s 25th Wedding Anniversary was last week (second marriage if you are doing the math) and I wanted to give/get them something with meaning. What a better gift than the repurpose those sexy spindles into a memorable gift. How about a candle holder?

sexy spindles

After taking all of the pieces apart and only getting electrocuted once
(someone plugged the damn thing in when I wasn’t looking!) I attached a scrap cutting board to the bottom with some wood glue and nails. The dish was of course a thrift store find and was attached using my favorite carcinogen E6000 adhesive. Then, I painted one of the main large spindles with two coats of Faux Real Mineral Paint in Lino and waxed it.
sexy spindles
But I had to have a note! So, I got out my stash of vintage silverware and stamped out a message perfect to go with a candle…”May Your Love Never Dim

metal stamped art

I think they loved it, they pretended pretty well anyways! LOL! I saved the rest of the pieces for future projects, so stay tuned…

Happy Re-Creating!