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21  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Winter Holidays / Snowman Soup - A small easy to mass-produce gift. Perfect for office parties on: November 19, 2007 09:49:52 AM
I wish I had a picture to post of this, but I looked and I don't seem to have one.

Anyway, a few years ago mom and I worked in the same office and we wanted to give something to everyone for Christmas in the office   - and there were at least 40 people when you added in all the part timers.  So...we made Snowman Soup "kits" -

In a bag put:
One packet of instant cocoa
a handful of mini marshmallows
one hershey kiss
one candy cane*

And then attach a card with the following poem:
Was told that you've been good this year
Always glad to hear it
With freezing weather drawing near
you'll need to warm the spirit

So here's a little snowman soup
complete with stirring stick
Add hot water and sip it slow
It's sure to do the trick!


I downloaded the snowflake font from dafont and found a cute snowman clip art to put on the tags, and I used scrapbooking paper to mount the poems on, punched a hole in the top and tied it to the bag with a ribbon.

*We also turned the candycanes into reindeer - twist a brown pipe cleaner around the curve for antlers, glue on two tiny wiggle eyes, and a small (red) pom pom on the very tip of the short end for a nose.

--
there's also the other variant - a bag of "snowman poop" .  It's just a bag filled with mini marshmallows and the poem:
Heard you've been naughty
So here's the scoop,
All you get is...
Snowman Poop!


22  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Tips for Participating in Craft Fairs / How many Jewelry Vendors is too many? on: November 17, 2007 02:02:17 PM
I just did a craft fair today.  I sold nothing. zip. nada. And it's not because my stuff is crap, or priced insanely high. It's because out of the ~30 booths set up, OVER HALF the booths were either exclusively selling jewelry, or selling jewelry alongside their other crafts.

Even more discouraging/upsetting is that I saw lots of beaded items made out of beads from Wal-Mart and the cheap lines at chain craft stores.  Price a necklace made out of plastic pearls at $10, and patrons complain to me that my Swarovski pearl and Swarovski necklace at $40 is too expensive for you.  And trying to explain to people that I use only Swarovski pearls, crystal, real stone, and sterling silver findings and that these things are better quality than the plastic stuff is like talking to a brick wall.

Patron: *picks up a Hematite beaded memory wire bracelet*  Oh, I like this.  *looks at my price tag ($10), puts it down. Motions to their wrist and starts tugging on their elastic grey plastic beaded "power bracelet" (know the style I mean?)* I got this for $1. I really like yours, but this one was only $1.
Me:  The bracelet you're looking at is made from real Hematite and is on wire. I can change it to an elastic bracelet for $6.
Patron: *tugs on elastic some more* Yeah, but this one was $1.
Me: I understand that, but those beads are plastic, these are made of stone.  They cost more.  Did the person who sold you that tell you it was real Hematite?
Patron: They said the colour was Hematite.
Me: *trying really hard not to roll my eyes and picks up a plastic beaded bracelet I'm selling for $1*  Well, I would tell you this is Jade coloured, but it's not made from Jade. 
Patron: Oh. Well, I still only paid $1 for this.  *walks away*

Anyway. So how many Jewelry stands is too many?  I think the people organizing the fair should have capped it at five stands (that would have been one for each row of tables. This was a really small fair), and I think if someone who wrote "woodworked items" on their application form, and then showed up with jewelry should have been told they could not also sell their Jewelry since it wasn't listed on the application.  If I had been Jewelry stand #6 and I had my cheque returned with a note that they had "reached their cap of allowed Jewelry stands" I'd have written it off and found a different show to do. 

You have no idea (well, okay, some of you probably do) what this does to me financially. This is my LIFE. This is my only source of income. And I had to come away negative $25.  That REALLY does makes a difference.

I also think that if you do sell nothing your fee ought to be refunded. I know that the $25 was going into the school, but at least offer to refund it and give me the chance to say "it's okay, the school can keep it".


Even better was being asked if I wanted to do the show again next year.  Sure! Here, why don't I just give you the $25 now and save me the trouble of wasting eight hours I could have been working on swap crafts by being here doing nothing. 
23  PAPER CRAFTS, SCRAPBOOKING & ATCs (ARTIST TRADING CARDS) / Scrapbooking: Completed Projects / Completed 75th Birthday book! [IMG HEAVY! 20+ Photos] on: November 14, 2007 08:20:29 AM
I finally finished the birthday book for my aunt.  My aunt turned 75 in March, and my mom and I threw her a huge surprise party. I debated for ages about what type of book did I want to make her...I couldn't decide between doing an entire book of her life, or of making her a book of her party. I settled on doing a book of her party, as a few years back I had done a small 4x6 album for her of photos from her childhood.


The cover: Creative Memories 7x7 book, with Crystal Name stickers (me and my big ideas I think). I had to make "Jane" out of "Jamie" for some reason.


Page one.  This is a scaled down/shrunk down version of the invitation, including the paper we printed them on.  You'll see this paper a lot, as I decided to use it as background paper throughout the entire book to keep everything consistent. 


I printed out lines onto one of the pages to use as "guest" pages so in the future she'll remember who was there.


I kept things simple. I printed nearly all the photos out to 2x3" so I could fit more on the pages.


The "story" of how her party was planned.  The photo is of a vase with 75 (fake) roses that I had guests attach birthday wishes to.


more prep pages


Pre-arrival. There's a photo of the scrapbook in the scrapbook Smiley


Cake


More pre-arrivalhttps://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?action=post;board=153.0
Start new topic


I really had a lot of pre-arrival photos, as some people decided to show up over an hour ahead of time!




Her entrance. Several different angles from different people.


I didn't journal on any of these pages, as I plan on giving my aunt a pen along with the pen for her to write her own journaling and to allow her to label her friends (I had no clue who half these people were!)


My family really likes to eat...












Okay, just for explanation:  My aunt lives by herself in the house that used to belong to my grandparents, and she pretty much has everything she needs/wants. She eats a TON of fruit, so one of my cousins filled an entire gift bag with fruit. 




The "what do I do with these two photos?" page.

I really liked using the same background paper throughout, and because the paper was patterned, I didn't need a whole lot of embellishments. 













24  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / Add a column for swap partner (only) to swap feedback area on: November 13, 2007 03:01:21 PM
we were discussing this in another thread, and I was told to add the suggestion:

Could we have a column added to the swap feedback area for swap partner?  Not for adding feedback on the partner or anything like that, just so that future organizers can see who you've been partnered with in the past on swaps so they don't accidentally pair you with someone you just recently swapped with.
25  CRAFTY BUSINESS ADVICE / Crafty Business Discussion / Help with Charging Tax at craft fairs and via PayPal on: November 06, 2007 02:06:42 PM
(I edited my subject line, because I have a new question, but it's related to all of this)

I did check out things via searching for older topics, and that's what prompted my questions..

anyway:


I got a form for an upcoming craft fair in the mail that I was planning on putting a table at, and it says on it to have your tax-id number with you when you show up, and if you don't have one, the place running the fair isn't liable. Okay, I understand that.  I've been talking about registering for a few months anyway (which means I'd have to charge sales tax to people), so I figured I'd go ahead and do it.  It's a PA-100 form. and hey, you can fill it out for free.  Whee. 

Right. So, I get confused by a line on the form, and I call the office of revenue to ask them about it, and I get this (slightly bitchy) woman named Mary.  I suppose she might have been bitchy because apparently the office is only open until 4:30, and it was 4:20 when I called, but I honestly didn't know until I called what time they were closing.  I *did* apologize for calling so close to the close of business, and she told me it was okay, but she was still kind of bitchy to me the whole time. 

Mary tells me that since I don't want to use my Last name in my business name, I have to register a fictitious name form thing-o with the state.  Which costs $70. $70 that I definitely don't have.  I told Mary that I was confused, as I don't plan on opening a checking account or anything with the name of my business, it's just because online I don't want to have my last name associated with my wares, and I use other names as a screen name online and as my personal domain.  She told me it didn't matter, I still had to file this paper in order to even just SAY I'm using the name  (which still doesn't make sense to me. I mean, we don't have to pay $70 for every single alias we go by online).    She then gave me a number to call to find out if I can use my business name, but also told me that I can't file the PA-100 form until I have this fictitious name form filled out.  She also told me that my tax-id number is just going to be my SSN....so I told her I still didn't understand needing to register the name then, if I wasn't going to be filing taxes under the name, or have a separate Tax ID for it.  Yeah, she didn't like that question, because her only answer for me was "well, you have to".

I called the Department of State. Talked to a really nice man, who's name I don't know.  I suppose it would be stereotypical of me to say what ethnicity he was based on his accent, so I won't.  But he was really nice.  He checked my business name for me and told me it was available, and told me where to find the form on the PA DOS website.  He even stayed on the phone while I downloaded it and looked at the form to see if I had any questions on the form, told me exactly which parts to fill out since I was a sole proprietorship, etc.

Then came my other question "Do I need to do this before I file the PA-100?".  He told me NO.  He told me that I just would need to call the Dept. of Revenue after I get my Fictitious name paper to tell them the number on it or the date, or something.  I don't remember his exact wording.  But he told me that I could get the PA-100 filed and get the tax information before I get the fictitious name registered.

Soo..conflicting information and bitchy people for the win. 

Advice? 

Do you think I should even bother with the PA-100 since the craft fair says it's not required?  Do you think I should file the PA-100 and not the Fictitious name form for now?  Does anyone have experience with any of this, particularly in PA, but I'll take advice from other states, too.  I'm not trying to avoid taxes or anything like that by not registering. I realize that I will have to add something about the money I make off of my crafts onto my tax forms, especially since for 2007 I haven't (yet) had an actual job that withholds tax. 

I also question if I register for this if I have to start charging *everyone* tax, and then how does that work if people are ordering off my website and paying through paypal? 

I'm so confused.  And, I really don't have $70 to register a fictitious name with.


*edit* Also, does anyone know how to charge tax on PayPal? Usually I just send someone an invoice for the full amount they owe me plus shipping, and then paypal takes their 2.9%. If I send someone an invoice for say a $10 item, plus $5 shipping, plus 6% tax...paypal will take 2.9% off of the whole amount and then I won't have all the tax money. 
26  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Three beaded Watches on: October 23, 2007 04:29:06 PM
I had so much fun making the pink ribbon watch, I ordered more watch faces and made the following:

For my Mom:


Hers is made with light blue cat's eye beads and Sapphire swarovski.  I'm giving it to her as an early chrsitmas present since her watch broke the other day.

For my aunt, who LOVES pink:


I used the leftover beads from making the Pink Ribbon stuff for my cousin, so I didn't have enough bicones, so I changed the first bicone to a larger cat's eye. I'll be hanging onto this for Christmas for her.  Last year, I made her a pink pearl necklace, this year a bracelet...i guess next year i'll have to find screw back earrings to make her some earrings! 

and I made this one for a friend of mine who is running a contest on her site to win a basket of goodies:



I layed the watches on my scanner bed and it turned the crystal grey!   The bicones on this one are Crystal Shade, and the cat's eye are 3mm instead of 4mm because I ordered the wrong size. Whoops. 

I didn't put any type of split ring or jump ring on the clasps because I only had ones that are something like 1/4" and it was way too big for the watches, but I think they look okay without the jump rings. 

but now I'm practically done for Christmas!  Cheesy 
27  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Potterpuffs Knitting Club... on: October 23, 2007 01:28:49 PM
Anyone else see this on Deviant art?

http://fc03.deviantart.com/fs20/i/2007/296/7/d/Harry_Potter_and_Friends_by_Ms_Wayward.jpg

It's by Ms Wayward and the first thing I thought of when I saw it was craftster and the knitting boards:D 
28  NEWS AND DISCUSSION ABOUT CRAFTSTER / Suggest New Boards and New Features / adding a required line to swap sign up survey on: October 19, 2007 09:47:21 PM
I haven't seen this mentioned anywhere else, and I'm not sure if this is the right place, BUT --

I know there's a generic swap sign up form that organizers can cut/paste and then add extra questions to that are specific to the swap. I was wondering if we could add a "what pets do you have?" and a "do you smoke?" question along with the allergy question, because twice now I've gotten partners who are allergic to cats, and well...I have a cat.  The one partner said she doesn't have a bad allergy so it's okay, and the other partner I'm waiting to hear back on, but it could save the organizers a lot of headaches (i think) if there was a mandatory q for pets so when they look at the sign-ups they right away would know who they can't pair together because of pet allergies.

29  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Stitch And BOTCH / Ceramic Magnets are REALLY Strong! on: October 09, 2007 01:53:14 PM
I was gluing some of those ceramic magnet rounds onto some of those wooden cutouts to make magnets.  I noticed the magnets were super strong when I was trying to pry them apart and then immediately wanted to stick to each other, to the scissors, and to the hole punch, but I didn't think anything of it,and applied my glue and stuck the magnets to the backs of the things.

I walk back over to my crafting "table" about 10 minutes later to check on them, and the magnets SLID ACROSS THE GLUE to try to stick themselves back to each other, and I saw a few that were inching towards the hole punch.

I separated them to let them continue to dry. I just hope the placement of the magnet isn't too weird.
30  JEWELRY AND TRINKETS / Trinkets and Jewelry: Completed Projects: General / Breast Cancer Support Watch/Bracelet on: October 08, 2007 07:51:33 PM
My cousin asked me to make her a pink bracelet with a ribbon charm, as she's a breast cancer survivor. I was looking on one of the bead websites (auntie's beads, I think) for a pink ribbon charm, and I saw a watch face, so I took it one step farther and made this for her:





Features cat's eye beads and Swarovski, as well as a pink ribbon clasp!
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