That time of the year when I need to wrap myself in 3 layers of wool, and head out in the snow to sell my jewelry.
This year I have 2 days at Norsk Folkemuséeum annual Christmas fair, at Bygdøy. I have tested out various venues now over the last few years, and found a few I know I can do well at. This year I wanted to just go for the one at Bygdøy. I had a wonderful time there last year, so this is the one I am focusing on. It is much work these fairs, and I am not getting any younger. I am so looking forward to it, even though the weather report says it will be -5 celsius. (23 fahrenheit) Hope people will still buy though, although I may have more success selling hot cocoa… Hoping!
Now we are in the final days of 2015, only a few days left of this old and worn year. After my last post, I got even more busy. Loads of work, and then there were markets. I am very happy with how all these turned out.
I just find it so satisfying to sell jewelry people want to wear, and even want to give as gifts for someone they love. To meet those that buy. I had a very young boy looking for something for his mother. Aww.. yeah. And an elderly couple wanting to give something to their new daughter in law. One woman just wanted something for herself. The necklace she bought looked stunning on her. It was like I had made it just for her, even though I did now know her at the time. Another woman just could not walk away from a pair of flashy swarovski earrings. Standing there, even in the cold, I felt so blessed.
And then christmas came. And today the snow fell. Finally. The weather reports say that it will not stay long for now, but I am sure it will be back. On new year’s eve we will have gained 8 more minutes of daylight, only a week or so after solstice. From now on I will be able to see the difference every morning when I drive to work. I have already started planning my vegetable garden.
According to tradition, one needs to have seven different cookies baked for christmas. I never did that, even when I prepared for more people than now. At most I only baked two. It needs to be eaten as well you know… These days, there is only one. But for that one I have made the dough two times already, as we had managed to eat the first batch before christmas eve. I have not found the correct english name for this cookie. Suggestions are welcome. The norwegian name is “Krumkake” – which directly translates to “curvature cookie.” It does not sound like a name for a cookie….
Best wishes for the new year to all readers. The unused year hold so much promise still.
My first market of the year is finished. It was a local arts & crafts fair, where people sold what they had produced during the year. It was everything you would expect of a norwegian arts & crafts market. From the traditional woodcarving and knitting, to more international crafts like mexican pleating.
On the other side of the narrow corridor that separated my table from the next one, there was a stack of “Selbuvotter” when we started early saturday morning. It was amazing to see how it decreased in size as time went on. They will probably always sell well, they are very popular – but the price here was also inviting. I don’t think any was left on sunday afternoon. Sadly, I have no picture of them – but internet is full of them anyway.
Knitted items are always popular. Even though most of us learn the craft at school, it always sell well. Mittens, socks, sweaters, jacket (or the older norwegian word “kofte”) We just love this stuff. It takes crazy amounts of time, and since many know how – we appreciate the time spent. It also means the competition is fierce, but the variety in what is offered is always interesting.
The competition on jewelry is always fierce as well, and this market was not an exception. I still sold a few items, thankfully. The viking knitted thulite necklace started it’s journey there. Bought as a farewell present for a co-worker, by other coworkers who had piled coins together to get her something. I was rather humbled and proud that they decided to choose one of my pieces. May it serve her well in the years to come.
I have two other markets coming up. These are the cold, outdoors ones. I am slowly adding things that I want to take with me, trying to offer something different from last year. I so look forward to the experience.
A bit late for this greeting perhaps, but this shiny new year is not that old, yet. King Winter decided to come over for a visit to this city of mine, after holding out on us for so long. If you commute now, you can see them – all these sporty types carrying their ski up to where the snow lies deep. Which is 30-45 min from city center. I am not so often out there in the woods during this time of year, but I just love that I have the possibility just a few meters from my door. I could! If I wanted to.
December was rather hectic for me with two shows, preparing and packing for those. I learned so much and had such a great time. I sold much more on my second try, the visitors fit my segment better. But I just had to take some time off from my working table. So I have not even pondered making something new for a rather long time, just using this time for other things. Getting back to work!
The goals for this year is learning some new techniques, mastering a few old ones – and keep testing venues where I can sell my work.
I ordered a “happy new year present” for myself, so I had something to start working on. All from Magpie. They had a store wide sale that I felt i could not miss out on, especially since the norwegian currency is so low now in value. It has not arrived yet – this one has to go through customs as well. In no particular order you see kyanite, moonstone, tourmalin, labradorite, citrine, peridot and apatite. Can`t wait for this to arrive!
It feels good to no longer be a novice at craft shows. Now I can say I have been there and done that. I didn`t sell all that much, the venue and customer group was a bit off for my kind of products. What I gained in experience though was invaluable. I talked a lot with many friendly people, and the show was very well visited. There was a trickle of people all the time during both days. I want to try it out next year, and see if I can do better. Across from my stand I had a lovely lady who sold candles. Norwegians use candles a lot, especially during those dark winter months. To the left I had a lady who sold baby slippers of sheep wool, and other products in that category. She also sold Pinnekjøtt, which I of course promptly bought. It is my favourite christmas eve dinner along with Beer and Akvavit.
I brought with me some copper wire, and got to work a bit. Although sales were down, many visited my booth. Next year I need to make something affordable for those little girls who drags their parents to my booth, attracted by the sparkle. Something that is not just rubbish, but simple enough that they can afford it. Something fun! I need to ponder that.