Wednesday, February 25, 2015

kiki b omi designs at Unglued Craft Fest 2015

Five years ago I was able to be a part of the first Unglued Craft Fest in Fargo, ND. At the time I had just started my business, kiki b omi designs, and had done a few smaller shows. I was actually scheduled to do a different show that weekend, but was chosen as a last minute replacement to Unglued and decided to give it a try instead. Boy, was that ever a great choice. The morning of that first fest found shoppers lined up down the block to buy the handmade items inside. It showed to the vendors and organizers that the indie craft scene in Fargo was ready! I found my little niche in that scene with that show and have loved being a part of it ever since. I was also able to sell at the third Unglued as well and then again this year at the fifth Unglued.

To say that these shows are well run is an understatement. The organizer, Ashley, is very thorough in her preparations and has an amazing team of helpers. They make sure that everyone, from the vendors, to the shoppers, to the staff all have an amazing weekend. The vibe of the show is so upbeat and happy, you can't be a part of it without a smile on your face.

So, as this past weekend approached, I was pumped to be making the trip back to Fargo. (Now that is saying something. Not everyone looks forward to visiting Fargo, much less smack int he middle of winter!) I arrived at the amazing Plains Art Museum for set up Friday around 11 am. I was a bit worried about being able to set up and unload on my own, but there were super friendly museum staff waiting to help unload my vehicle. By the time I parked and got up to the third floor my load was already at my booth waiting for me! I had two friends who helped me get my booth set. (The same wonderful staff was there to help load at the end. Winning!)
The Fest opens with a gala night on Friday. Shoppers pay to get in, but enjoy a drink ticket, catered snacks, and $5 to spend at any booth. The mood is set with live music and a bit of a fancier ambiance. The next day the fest is free with the first 100 shoppers receiving a swag bag.

Both days go by so fast. There is a constant stream of shoppers. And let me tell you, they make you feel great! I love it when people actually get the significance of handmade and unique products. Yes, they tend to cost more, but individual people spent time working with their hands to make each item. That is special to me and lots of the shoppers there share that feeling.
I was able to sneak away a few times to make purchases of my own. I found gifts for each of the kids, as well as several other family members. I would have loved to have brought home more, but I was trying to make the weekend profitable!
It was another great Unglued Craft Fest. I was so blessed to be a part of such an amazing event.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Peachy's Sewing Machine {Sewing Machine for Children}

The proud birthday girl with grandma and Purple Thunder.

I just realized that I haven't really written a post about the sewing machine that Peachy received for her birthday, a Janome Half Sized Portable Machine called Purple Thunder, in May. She has put it through its paces, and now the time has come for a complete review.

We had bought Peachy a simple toy chain stitch machine for her fourth birthday knowing full well that it wouldn't really be useful. And we were right. That machine caused more frustration for all of us than the cheap price tag was worth. And as she wanted to do more and more sewing projects, I was more and more eager to get her a machine that really worked. (In other words, I was wanting my machine back for myself.) Now, I know that four or five years is young for a sewing machine, but I  knew my Peachy and knew that she could handle it.

My mom and I had discussed getting her a sewing machine that actually worked, but hadn't decided on anything. Then, one day, my mom read a blog post about the Janome Half Size machine. It isn't necessarily marketed to be a child's sewing machine, but the blog she had read said that her child was able to use it safely.

So, we ordered up a Janome Purple Thunder from Overstock. (The color was a bonus for Miss Peachy.) The machine is a good size for a child. The settings are also simple to use with eight stitches between straight and zigzag. The way the foot is made keeps little fingers from being sewn over. So far, Peachy's machine has handled all that she has thrown at it, including sewing through many layers.
The only feature I wish it would have would be a light, but that might only be to help my aging eyes. Also, the machine is a bit louder than my own machine. However, for the $70 price point, this machine is hard to beat.
I am also amazed at what this little lady is capable of doing. The fearlessness of a five year old combined with someone who has grown up watching someone sew is pretty amazing. She just sits down and starts sewing. The seams may not always be straight, but the creative joy is always there.