Handcrafted Jewellery, Bead Jewellery, Heart Necklaces at incapilgrim.co.uk
 
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Well, it was definitely that 'time of the month again'. All the fun of the fair...Ayrshire Arts & Crafts Fair to be literal. You know, slow mornings seem to have a way of setting you up for a surprisingly good afternoon, for me anyway. You can sit there watching minutes like they're strawberry plants...except there's nothing to eat at the end.  Craft fairs have a habit of being very unpredictable, so Saturday was a very pleasant surprise, so much so, I bought a sticky toffee pudding from Yummy Things!

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Mairi with knitting needles in hand
Anyhow, fast becoming my biggest fan...in the jewellery stakes mind you, Mairi  got a bit excited at my latest creations. So on Saturday, rather than indulging in one piece, she couldn't stop herself taking the whole bloomin lot!

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Mairi's stuff & me in the background!
Mairi could knit for Britain. You name it, and she can do it...cupcakes, tea cosies, animals, bugs, flowers and one of my favourites...which I think could possibly be her trademark...Daleks! So if you'd like to have a peek at what this is all about, nip into the Ayrshire Arts & Crafts fair, it's on every month with loads of unique handcrafted ideas, and it's completely free.

 
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So here we are again, Ayrshire's biggest street event. Attending last year's was probably the most surprised I'd ever been from any kind of festival/fair. Nestled in a' that Burns country, with its cobble stoned back streets and 'in costume' vendors, this fair was everything you imagined it should be.
This year there's entertainment from The Rhythm Kings, Screamin' Preachers, Pop Go The Movies...to name a few, there's also featured shows on the Bleaching Green...I'm looking forward to the Tug 'O' War, and for a bit of balance, possibly take a sneak peek at the Meccano Society. There are stalls all over the town, from Loudoun Cottage just off the Ayr Road, to the museum (worth a look) on Castle street next to Kilmarnock Road. Bang smack in the middle of the Burns Festival, this one is worth a diary slot. It's all happening on Saturday 28th May 2011 from 11am...and it's completely FREE!

For a full detailed listing of this event click here!

 
The Crafters community across the board regardless of craft admit to contemplating whether or not fairs or shows are worthy of time and expense. Here’s my opinion and why it can be a daunting decision
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This is my craft stall (and helper son) at a local fair.
When I started doing craft events I signed up for just about any fair or exhibition…a definite ‘trial & error’ process. I learned quite a few lessons, the good and the not so good, along the way. Some fairs can be a considerable investment of time, energy and money, as they can be two, three and even four day long events. Some even run later into the night. While there is a lot of potential for sales, there is potential for disaster too. It should be paramount to check how established a venue as well as an organiser is. Always check the kind of advertising in place…is it targeting the right market? Is it covering the relevant catchment area and so on? And of course, weather. We can’t really predict the weather, but a bit of research up’s the odds of determining the footfall, whether it’s an outdoor or indoor event. Weather is probably up near the top of the list of what can make an event a raging success or a complete washout!

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Catrine Festival (June 4th 2011)

Marquee events are probably are one my favourite, so long as the weather is kind and my feet are in good form…there’s a lot to be said for thermal socks and wellies, let me tell you. 



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My table with shelves, display stands, platforms and busts
Making the most of your six foot table is vital. I invested in a 30” tiered corner shelf (see picture) which gave my table visibility from other points on the marquee floor. Although having pretty cloth on the table adds to the effect, laying all your items flat doesn’t. Display stands, platforms, shelves, whatever will lift your wares up for better viewing will make the world of difference. Local farmers markets can be a good investment. They attract a lot of local customers that go just to see if they can find something a bit different, and organisers usually welcome local crafters.


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Mauchline Holy Fair
Although, sometimes it’s not necessarily always about the sales, you also have the opportunity to promote your craft, with business cards, your website, twitter, facebook pages etc. Meeting customers and fellow stallholders are great for feedback, validation, ideas and friendships. There’s no greater reward than a customer enthusing how beautiful one of your creations are, especially when they are willing to part with their cash too! Market research costs a lot of money, and being a crafter, you probably don’t have a stash especially for it. But being a crafter also means you don’t need to. Attending events is the ideal opportunity to exhibit your work at a comparatively nominal outlay, and feedback is usually immediate. I’ve found that casually listening in while customers are browsing and talking to each other a very useful tool. Customers can be brutally honest, but don't be down heartened by every negative comment…unless of course they are all saying the same thing. Bear in mind, that different markets will in all likelihood yield different results in both sales and comments.

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Mauchline Holy Fair May 28th 2011
I love doing craft events, though I don’t get to do as many as I used to because my website and online orders don’t let me, but the ones I do are great, which for me I think, is good value for my time and money.

Mauchline Holy Fair is happening all over again on May 28th 2011
See you there!

 
Inca Pilgrim is very much a labour of love, hence I have everything to do with finding the materials, making the designs to taking the pictures and building the website. hopefully you will enjoy your shopping or browsing experience. You will find lot's of things to appease an indulgent imagination...from celestial inspired bracelets to hippy enthused bag charms. I am an independent designer and seller of all things unique, bohemian etc...in the jewellery sense that is! I will be adding to the site as often as I can. so check regularly as change can be good, but not if it's missed. Remember that if you don't see what you're looking for, just ask. 99% of the time it's not a problem (check the delivery  and Info page for more details). Many thanks to all my past, present and future customers for all your support and interest in something a bit different.

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