Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Year-End Reminiscence

This year has just flown by… it seems they go faster and faster the older I get.  But it’s been a unique and interesting year in many ways.

iKnitQuiltSew began in February of this year.  I called it ‘my pipe dream,’ and my husband and I still refer to it as that.  What’s interesting is that it’s not living up to that nickname.

In this almost full first year, sales have eclipsed my wildest dreams.  In a very tough economy, how well could I possibly do selling nothing but luxury items?  No one needs a handmade toy or quilt.  You can run into Wal-Mart and buy all the baby accessories you could possibly want at cheap prices.  Why would anyone part with the extra money to buy handmade baby knits from a perfect stranger on the internet?

Customer appreciation photo - blue baby blanket
Regardless, I am just amazed at what ‘left’ in this first year.  Twenty-two baby headbands (one of which went to Japan!), eight pair of booties, eight hats and four baby gift sets are all gone.  Three baby blankets have new owners, two blue and one pink.  I received this delightful ‘customer appreciation’ photo from one of the blanket buyers.  I do love the customer appreciation photos…  I’ve even started a bulletin board with them on it. I sold five teddy bears, one of which I rebuilt after it was mangled by dogs.  And I sold three quilts…  Trucks and Something’s Fishy and a pink log cabin quilt.  But surprising to me is how many dolls have found new homes  – Amy, Clare, Dana, Fay, Jane, Mary and Nancy are all happily living with their new families.  My intention in making these dolls was and is that they are toys, but that’s not generally the case – only Nancy was purchased to give to a child.  The rest of the dolls are companions to grownups.  Now all I need to do is work that into my marketing scheme!

The bottom line is that I couldn’t have done this at all without, first, the support and help of my terrific husband, and second, without all the friends and customers I’ve met on the web.  I still think that SEO is a four-letter word, but I am learning.  And with the continued support I’m receiving from all of you out there, I’m determined to do nothing but improve in the future.

Thank you for the encouraging comments, the warm and sincere feedback, and the seemingly endless show of support that you’re all sending my way.  This is one time for sure that I couldn’t have done it without you!


Sunday, December 26, 2010


I am having an INVENTORY CLEARANCE SALE! Now through December 31, 2010, everything in my Etsy shop is 25% off! Use coupon code CLEARANCE 2010 at checkout!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Amazing!  Artists With a Special Touch
This is a tough one...  where do you start?  Is there something magic in the water in Florida that makes people there multi-talented?
First, I visited Eye Candey's blog, and found myself chuckling out loud and the first article posted there.  Entitled, Crazy Outrageous Gift Idea!, it's a must read if you have just a minute. 
Door Candy!  Black and white vinyl!
But Eye Candy doesn't just entertain us with her writing...  custom printing is her art form, too.  And they'll print on anything...  vinyl, paper, fabric, edible sheets!  Take a look.
Edible Candy!  These are custom-printed edible cake toppers!!!

T-shirts and sweatshirts!

Cupcake Love wall decor - print!

Fabric!  There are days when I need to be wearing something made from this fabric!!!

I'm sure you are getting the message!  If you can dream it up, Eye Candey will be THRILLED to print it on whatever you like!  Not inspired?  Not a problem!  Check out Eye Candey's shop on Etsy, or visit her brick and mortar in person if you're in Tampa, Florida.

Friday, December 17, 2010

It's Not Too Late!
I know how the economy is, how tight money is and how little of it there is in your wallet right now.  So now through noon Tuesday, December 21, all US orders placed through my shop will ship via Priority Mail at no additional charge!
Thanks to all of my readers for your support throughout this year, my first as iKnitQuiltSew!  Wishing you all a great holiday season and looking forward to a wonderful New Year for all of us!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Amazing!  Artists With A Special Touch
It's cold this time of year in North Dakota where this artist lives.  So by the name of her shop, you'd think she'd be knitting warm and toasty accessories or sweaters or blankets.  But you would be wrong on all counts!  Dahlish Knits makes tiny dolls!  Take a look...
This tiny knitted doll is just perfect for the hand of a tiny child at just 4 inches tall!  Each of Dahlish Knits dolls are knitted to order, too.  They are knitted from the softest of acrylic and cotton blend yarns.  They are washable too!  And the best part about these dolls is that right now they are on sale in her shop at an incredible 50% off  and free shipping! - that's not a typo!  Just type in supersavelove at checkout!  Here are a couple more examples of these precious little dolls...

And this one in her cheery red dress-just right for the holidays!
Isn't this MERMAID DOLL just toooo cute!

You can learn more about Dahlish Knits on her blog or on her Facebook page.  But for that perfect, last-minute stocking stuffer, be sure to visit her Etsy Shop and take advantage of her 50% off sale and free shipping!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Amazing!  Artists With A Special Touch!

No matter where we live, how old or what gender we are, we all have one thing in common...  we all wear socks!  Maybe not every day or all the time in warmer climates, perhaps, but everyone's dresser has a sock drawer!  Typically, I am in my sock drawer at dark-thirty in the morning.  In fact, I have two sock drawers - one for dark socks and one for light socks.  This makes it easy for me in my half-asleep stupor to grab an appropriate color.  Every morning, my hand, on automatic pilot, reaches into drawer number 1 or 2, grabs a knitted ball, and pulls one sock on each foot.  This certainly wouldn't be the case if my socks were knitted by this amazing artist!  Let me introduce you to Twiddletoes!

These tabi socks are perfect for wearing with flip-flops.  The pattern is unique to Twiddletoes, having been refined over the years.  And what delightful colors!  Note the elasticized cuffs, too, so that the socks stay put...  no saggy socks from this artist!  And they're not just socks; Twiddletoes uses only the highest quality yarns of luxurious content...  merino wool, cashmere, alpaca...  even washable wool!  

You can just see the softness of these cashmere traditional socks.  If these socks were in your sock drawer, the sensory experience would begin while unfolding them, even before you put them on!  Talk about happy feet!!!!!

And let's talk about knitting a pair of socks.  This is not an evening project.  There are literally thousands of stitches in a single pair of socks.  And every last one of these stitches are made with knitting needles in a pair of hands, one stitch at a time.  The craftsmanship in these socks is incredible.

To see more of Twiddletoes amazing socks, check out her blog, her shop, or her Etsy store.   You will be so glad that you did!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Above and Beyond

The web is a virtual place.  You can't touch anything, feel it, smell it, taste it...  it's just there.  And I don't even like the word "virtual," since the web does in fact exist.  But is anything that happens on it real, or is it all just a fantasy world?

I would like to say that, without a doubt, the Handmade Artists Forum is a real place.  It's full of real people, with feelings, honest words of encouragement and true friendship.  

When I found the Forum, I got hooked almost instantly.  It wasn't a clique that I had to blend into.  Each person's differences were immediately embraced and encouraged.  I wasn't asked for my age, gender or religious preference.  Whether I was rich or poor made no difference.  I, a total stranger, was welcomed enthusiastically by this wonderful group of folks who work tirelessly to promote and support each other. 

This week, I am lucky and fortunate to be the featured artist in the Handmade Artists Forum Blog Ring.  People I've never met face-to-face are going out of their way to write about my craft, to recommend me to their friends, to take time out of their busy lives to promote  me - and we've never 'really' even met! 

I cannot say enough about the Handmade Artists Forum.  In a troubled world full of strife, dishonesty and heartbreak, it's a unique refuge of harmony and support.  Please do yourself a favor and see for yourself! 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Amazing! Artists With a Special Touch

Garden Party Soap
I've written about Reef Botanicals previously, but good things need to be repeated now and again.  You may think that considering soap to be art is a stretch...  That isn't the case with these folks!  The stunning photography on their blog, in their web shop, and their Handmade Artists' Shop will convince you of the artistry and care that goes into everything they do. Their soaps are completely homemade in small batches.  The finished colors and scents are created by the all-natural ingredients.  The finished products net a luxurious lather and clean feel.
Chocolate Decadence Candles
Chocolate Chip Mint Lip Balm
They don't only make soap - they make candles and lip balm too! They will be delighted to put a gift basket together for you as well!  Larissa writes on her blog that, "the house smells like heaven!"  I am not surprised in the least!!

A visit to any of their sites is a visual delight - enjoying their handiwork in your home is euphoria!  Drop into their blog, their web store, or their Handmade Artists' Shop and see for yourself!!!!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I am a kind-of active member of The Handmade Artist's Forum...  only "kind-of" because there just aren't enough hours in the day!  But a while back, they were looking for someone to take the idea of a weekly site-wide chat and 'run with it.'  I volunteered and have been doing it for a few months now.
Last Thursday's chat gave me a title...  at the very end of the session, one of the attendees referred to me as "the Chat Mistress."  Of all the things I've been in my life, I've never been a mistress!  I like the title!
The Handmade Artist's Forum is open to anyone and everyone, and we would love to see you there.  It's full of creative ideas, support, and encouragement.  Drop by sometime and get hooked the way I did!  This week's chat is entitled, The Price Is Right Everyone in attendance will have an opportunity to post a short description and picture of an item.  Then everyone else will state the price they would expect to see/be willing to pay for it.  This is a great way to check your pricing, and will be fun to look at all the different things!  For more information, visit the Forum and this thread.  And while you're there, check out all of the other great topics!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm So Confused...

I'm a quilter, a knitter,  a seamstress, and an entrepeneur with reasonable computer skills. But I just shudder whenever Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is mentioned! Simplistically, I understand that it's just a matter of keywords...  terms for which someone searching for xxx item would use.  But then there's meta tags, backlinks, on page and off page and...  AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Although I still don't understand it, I don't feel quite so lost anymore after reading through SEOGUY's free tutorial.  Written in English, rather than computerese, I found this incredibly helpful.  If you have the time, this is a must read for anyone else bewildered by this mysterious, secret code!

Free search engine optimization tutorial

Saturday, September 11, 2010

On Blogging

I am new to online marketing - just since February of this year.  I kept hearing, "Oh - you have to have a blog to sell online."  So I created this one.  But I still don't understand...  the rules seem to be that you don't talk about your business in your blog.  So how does this blog help my shop?

I haven't been good about posting to my blog.  Frankly, I don't know what to say!  And there's so much going on in my life, it's always at the bottom of my list.
Thanks to all of the folks who have chosen to follow this blog.  I'm not going to abandon it entirely, but please understand that I won't be posting regularly.

Monday, August 23, 2010

I just got home from work... don't get me wrong, I do love my job.  But the first week of school at a university is always ridiculous.  This year just seems to be so IN SPADES!
My plan is to curl up with a pair of knitting needles and some super soft yarn and just let my brain count stitches.   Does anyone else retreat into their art to escape the mundane and trying aspects of everyday life? 

Saturday, August 21, 2010

     Driving home from the grocery store this afternoon, I passed a garage sale, too quickly to stop when I realized that there was a pile of bags of fiberfill leaned against a wall at the side of the sale.  I casually drove around the block and parked in the shade in front of the house.
     Six of the bags were high end, ultra-soft fiberfill - one of the bags was a high-loft queen size quilt batting.  I asked the two ladies attending the sale if I could have a volume discount, and was told for $10, I could have it all.  Cool!  The second lady asked if I was a quilter....  yes....  "Do you quilt by machine?" she asked...  No, all my quilts are hand-quilted.  At this point I gave both ladies one of my business cards, and explained that my shop has handmade rag dolls and teddy bears (thus my interest in the fiberfill), as well as quilts.
     At that point, the second lady started to grill me on quilting.  It was kind of odd, I thought, but what the heck!  It was a shady spot, and I love talking quilting.  After about five minutes, the ulterior motive surfaced, and I have a new job!  This lady has an heirloom quilt which needs to be repaired!  It's not torn (thank goodness!), but there are places on it the need to be re hand-appliqued and some of the quilting is gone.  "I have no idea how much time this will take or what this will cost you," I said.  Her response...  "I don't care!" 
     So I have a new project, which I am really looking forward to, and we agreed on a price with which I am thrilled!
     The next time you're out and about, be sure to stop at garage sales ... There may be a sale in it for you!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


From Here To There...
How To Make a Log Cabin Quilt Block
Surprisingly, this is simple IF you can cut and sew straight!  It's also a great way to use up small pieces of leftover fabrics. The block shown uses seven different materials.  In this block, I'm using 2 inch (5.1 cm) strips or logs, and a 2 x 3 inch (5.1 x 7.6 cm) rectangle for the center because I want my finished quilt to be rectangular. It is imperative that your center piece is exactly square.  If it's off, everything else will be too, and you'll end up with a parallelogram instead of a square or rectangle!
The absolute easiest way to accomplish this is with a rotary cutter and it's matching board and ruler.  These tools are certainly your friends when you need things to be perfectly straight.  Step one is to cut all of your 
materials - your center square or rectangle, then three or four strips of the materials you will be using.  Then lay out your materials in the order they'll be sewn together.  You'll be starting at the center and working outward from there. If you are not sure what order the fabrics will be sewn in, once everything is cut, you can lay them out around the center piece until you like what you see!
Starting with the center block, line up and sew the first strip to it making a 1/4 inch (.6 cm) seam.  Lay the piece down on your cutting board and cut off the excess of the strip even with the edge of the block.  
Iron the seam away from the center.  Using the same log (strip), align it exactly with the bottom of the piece you just sewed.  You want it exactly even with the center block edge.  Sew it using a 1/4 inch seam as before.  All of the strips will be used twice.  Cut off the excess and return the unused portion to its pile.  Take the next log and align it exactly with the third edge of the 
center block, sew it with a 1/4 inch seam, cut the excess, press the seam away from center, then align the same strip with the fourth edge of the center block and repeat.  You've now gone all the way around center with fabric in either a clockwise or counter-clockwise fashion.  It doesn't matter which you choose, but you must continue around in the same direction until you're all done!

Note the seam in the piece on the right.
Always align with the straight edge of the log attached to the center, not the edges of the perpendicular logs.  If they're a little short or long, it's not an issue.  It's aligning to center that will keep your quilt block square.  And remember that this is a quilt...  a collection of lots of different pieces of fabric!  If one of the logs is too short, it's absolutely okay to piece two logs together into one bigger log!

When you've used all of your logs twice, you'll have a finished block which looks like this from the back.  Note how all of the seams are parallel to each other.  This block has two logs which have been pieced together, too.

Continue making blocks in this manner until you have enough for your quilt, then sew all the blocks together.  You can sew the blocks to each other, or you can use a strip of material to separate the blocks (I'm partial to the latter).

That's all there is to it! 

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Amazing! Artists With A Special Touch
Paradise Purls

Elizabeth Humphries lives in North Carolina.  She's a knitter, and has been since she taught herself from a 'how to' book.  She loves the textures, colors and weights of yarns.  She knits in the round often - something I find challenging to do - creating these marvelous children's hats.  Her shop on Etsy is just full of them.  But to me, as lovely as they are, they are not the amazing thing that she does.
This is just one of her knitted bracelets...  no kidding!  A knitted bracelet!!!  And how pretty is this!  I would never have even thought to try and knit such a thing, and Elizabeth just seems to effortlessly produce them!  Her shop has an assortment in a variety of colors and yarns all very reasonably priced.

She also has a delightful blog which is well worth a visit.  Right now, Elizabeth is enjoying some well-deserved R&R with her family.  But please do drop into her shop and enjoy her wonderful creations or visit her blog to see more of her delightful work.  

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Baby Shower Gift Registry Now Available at iKnitQuiltSew!

I have had lots of requests to set up a Baby Gift Registry in my shop.  It's not that I didn't want to do it...  it was more of I didn't know how to do it! I think I have finally figured it out!  Here are the directions for anyone who would like to register their 'wish lish' with my shop:

  1. Go to http://www.etsy.com/shop/iKnitQuiltSew
  2. Go through my shop and note the listing numbers  of any particular items you would like on your registry.  The listing number can be found toward the bottom of the right-hand side bar on each listing
  3. Send an email to iKnitQuiltSew@gmail.com, with Registry somewhere in the title line, listing the categories and/or specific items which you want in your Registry.  You can have as few or as many items as you like
  4. The body of the email should include your name for the title of your registry.
That's all there is to it!  I will set up a a special listing in the Gift Registry section of my shop titled with your name.  People interested will find a whole list of links to the items you selected in that listing.  Once the listing is active, I will email you the link so that you can refer people to it - or just send them to my shop, then click Gift Registry and look for your name.  Your Registry will remain active for a period of four months from the listing date.

I look forward to seeing everyone's wish list!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Amazing!  Artists With A Special Touch
Connie Cooper - Saorsa Studio of Beads

Connie Cooper lives in Texas, and I'm beginning to wonder  if there is something magical in the air or water there...  It seems a lot of very talented people reside in the Lone Star State!

Before you think, "Another jeweler?," please bear with me for a bit.  Yes, Connie makes jewelry...  some from beads she created from scratch and other pieces which are micro-macrame.  It is the latter I would like to spotlight.

The first thing I did when I reached Connie's website was to read her post on her pricing dilemma...  something I struggle with as well. I found myself grinning as I read that article.  Then I noticed a link for her micro-macrame, and clicked it.  This wonderful piece with it's Native American overtones was the first tiny thumbnail, and I just had to click on it.  My jaw dropped as I uttered, "wowwwww!"  I can't even begin to imagine the time involved in creating this incredible work of art, not to mention the planning process that must have preceded it!  I did macrame back in the sixties, but what I did is not even a distant cousin to what Connie is doing with beads and string!!!

Her earrings are just as remarkable!  The color of this lovely pair caught my eye first.  But looking at the enlarged view, again, I am just amazed.  It never, EVER, would have occurred to me that macrame could be so intricate and lovely on such a small scale. 
I also love this African Porcupine Quill beaded hairpiece which I found in her shop on Etsy.  I really don't think that Connie understands how to do anything which is ordinary or commonplace!

Connie uses 3-ply nylon as the base for her work, sometimes adding other fibers for color.  If the beads she uses are not her own creations, she chooses only the highest quality beads from all over the world.  Please visit Connie's wonderful website store to view and purchase her fantastic creations.  And, I have to agree with Connie's supporters, who repeatedly tell her that she's pricing her work too low! 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Amazing!  Artists With A Special Touch!
Here is another person who seems to master everything she touches!  Kris hails from Albuquerque, NM.  She's a classic night owl who thinks she may live on the wrong side of the world!  She has many, many talents...  but I would like to focus on her glass.
I love the Antiques Roadshow on PBS, don't you?  Would you be surprised to see this lovely hand-painted vase on that show...  a priceless heirloom, lovingly painted, worth a small fortune!  Kris provides ten pictures of this vase in her Artfire Shop.
Then there is this absolutely lovely hand-painted magical potion bottle.  Her grandson is an active participant in her art, imagining what wonderful concoctions her bottles, vases, and vials should contain! In my opinion, they are all lovely enough just to be placed and admired!

 But perhaps my favorite is her stained glass...  and pictures are certainly worth thousands of words!

Please do visit all of Kris' sites...  She has two blogs, http://lisianblue.blogspot.com/ and http://www.lisianblue.com/.  She also has two Artfire shops, one for the work shown above (and much more!), and another for fine art photography.


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Amazing! Artists With A Special Touch
LTD Beads & Jewelry
Here is a lady who is pursuing a childhood love...  She still has a box in her garage labeled, "Joan's Stones," which she collected as a child.  She started beading then as well, making rosaries for missions.  She spent a couple of decades in graphic arts.  All of this, and unforeseen unemployment, led her back to what she loved as a child...  beading and jewelry. 

Joan has a wonderful eye for color and balance.  This necklace consists of nuggets of turquoise, malachite, coral colored stones and sterling silver beads with silver plated, patterned, diamond-shaped focal points.  All these different colors and textures should fight with each other.  But Joan brings them together with elegance and style.
From the incredibly busy to simple and sublime... Lapis lazuli hearts hung on delicate and sterling silver chain.  The color of the stone itself makes these earrings so striking.  The classic styling make them timeless and never out of style.

Then there is this amazing bracelet, entitled Autumn Splendor.  It consists of semiprecious  stones, coral, bone and glass combined in this easy to wear casual wrap bracelet with leaves and beads dangling from the ends. 

Joan picked the title of her business because her pieces are limited in production.  Two pieces may be similar but rarely are any two pieces identical.

Please visit her wonderful blog, her website, or one of her other shops on Artfire or Bonanzle.  You'll be glad you did! 

Friday, July 2, 2010

"Do You Have A Teddy Bear Emergency Room?"

The cutest little toddler just fell in love with this furry little bear at Groovefest.  I don't know who was more tickled when it was purchased for her - she or I!  But when I received this text message, my immediate reaction was, "Oh NO!"  My reply, "What happened!?!"  My thought was that my workmanship was faulty on this bear that had been sold just three days earlier, which would be a first.  I know of my bears that were played with and are now twenty or more years old!  The reply...  "Dogs thought it was their toy." 

When they arrived at my house, what they brought with them was a plastic grocery bag full of furry pieces.  The head was still attached but dangling to one side, and missing an ear.  One leg had a nasty gash in it and neither leg was still on the body.  The arms were still attached, but not by much.  The only good news was that all of the pieces were still there!   I told them to leave it with me and I would do my best.

Yesterday afternoon/evening, I performed a three-hour surgery on this poor little bear.  I had a little of the fur left, but not anywhere near enough to remake the whole bear.  Fortunately, it is so furry that I was able to patch the holes from the inside and you can't even tell where they are.  I rebuilt the missing ear.  I re-sewed all of the seams even if they weren't damaged.  Then it got stuffed again and arms/legs were reattached.  I was rather amazed at how good it looked when I got finished!

So everything worked out okay in the end.  But I don't think I will EVER forget this text message!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Amazing!  Artists With A Special Touch
Reef Botanicals

Okay folks...  let me make you hungry!  Honey and chocolate to the left...  Beer and greens to the right.  And, oh, those gorgeous blocks of cheese!!  Are you ready to run to the kitchen for a snack?  Don't leave your chair yet, because the kitchen is the wrong room to run to!  To indulge in these wonderful creations, the bathroom will work much better!  Those gorgeous blocks are hand-crafted soaps!
It is my pleasure to introduce you to Eric and Larissa of Reef Botanicals.  The subtitle on their blog reads, "handcrafted soaps and other indulgences."   This is a promise they keep with things like Chocolate Chip Lip Balm!  This statement from their About Us section of their store sums up their products. "We do not use any pre-made bases, but make all of our soap and candles ourselves, from our own recipes, with our own four hands, in small batches. The products you are purchasing today were likely made last week!"
They use only the finest natural ingredients in their creations...  the lovely scents of their finished products are generated by the ingredients themselves.  Their finished product exudes a sense of pride in their work.  And that pride and attention to detail begins with the exquisite photography throughout both of their sites.
When thinking of 'artists,' soapers probably isn't the first category that comes to mind.  But Larissa and Eric will quickly change that notion.  Please do visit their blog and their web shop and let the indulgence begin for you!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Groovefest  Was Groovy!

We did our very first ever Arts & Crafts show Friday and Saturday!  It was an ambitious undertaking to take on a two-day event when we'd never done it before at all!

Groovefest is a long-standing American Music Festival in Cedar City, Utah, which this year combined with the Cedar City Arts Festival to form one huge two-day event.  Live music performances began each day at 11:00 AM, with the last performance at 10:00 PM.  The entire Main Street Park was filled with food, laughter music and art for two full days!

 Day 1
Friday - we arrived at just past 7:00 AM, ready to set up for the first time.  We were more than a  little anxious about doing this...  we did NOT want to be the sideshow entertainment or comedy routine!  It went incredibly smoothly, which was a happy surprise.  We had played with this L-shaped design and thought it would work well.  It made our shop look full, which we thought would be a very good thing.
What we learned was that it seemed too crowded.  Plus, our customers needed to walk past us to get to many of our items, and we think that may have inhibited some people from browsing at all.   To get behind the tables was possible but very confined with only about 18 inches between the tables and the walls. Regardless, we had a great day on  Friday, but BOY were we tired when we got home at just past 11:00 PM!
Day 2
Saturday - we weren't required to be open until "tenish," so we arrived at about 9:15 AM.  We had no price signs on Friday, thinking that would make people talk to us.  But we don't think that worked... when they found things unmarked, we think many of them just put it down and walked away.  So Saturday morning, we made colorful signs so that everything was clearly priced.  Still, probably 60% of all our customers looked right at the sign, then turned and asked, "How much is this?" !!

We decided to arrange the tables differently too...  one on each side as far forward as possible.  This put us all the way in the back (where we had lots of room!) and twice as much of our merchandise right on the aisle for people to see as they walked by.  This seemed to work much better!  We even brought a vase with a couple of beautiful roses in it for the TV tray we had between our chairs.
We were amazed at the difference between the 'crowds' on the two days!  Surprisingly, our best day was Friday.  But when all was said and done, we came home with more money than we had paid in entry fees, we gave away almost 100 business cards, and we met some really nice folks who we believe will be customers in the future.
When we do this again (yes, we are going to do it again!), we're thinking we need to display fewer pieces to begin with.  There were so many things on each table that it was a bit overwhelming to take it all in.  Plus, you couldn't really see just one thing.  So next time, we'll take all of our things, but put them out in waves.  The other thing we will definitely do next time is to take our comfy camping chairs.  Sitting on that hard surface for 24 out of 36 hours took its toll!