Ack! and announcements

So I am just back from 2 weeks of vacation and it appears that my server (and therefore my main website and email) has been down for much of that time. Ack! My sincere apologies if you have been trying to email me or visit the website in that time. A few people got a hold of me via Etsy Convo, but I’m a bit panicked about those who aren’t on Etsy who might have wanted to get a hold of me. Again, my apologies.

In fun news, I just found out that I have been accepted to the Etsy Made in Canada Toronto event at MaRS on September 27!

So this fall’s schedule is here on Etsy Local, or as follows:

September 5-7: Cabbagetown Art and Crafts Sale at Riverdale Farm (201 Winchester St. Toronto, ON)

September 13-14: Danforth East Arts Fair at East Lynn Park (1949 Danforth Avenue
Toronto, ON)

September 27: Etsy: Made in Canada presented by Toronto Etsy Street Team + 416Huster at MaRS Discovery District (101 College St. Toronto, ON)

November 14–16: Christmas Handmade Market at Honsberger Estates Winery (4060 Jordan Road, Jordan, ON)

Other than that, I will be concentrating on Etsy sales this year, I think. But I will keep you posted as new markets develop! Speaking of Etsy, I love packaging up the dryer balls for Etsy sales. I always think about what a fun package it would be to open! Here’s one from a little while back, off to the US:


Market 707 Pop-up shop sneak peek

Women's Art Network Toronto pop-up shop at Market 707

I went down to add a few things to the Women’s Art Network Toronto (WANT) pop-up shop at Market 707 and a few other folks had moved in, like Jennifer Rong of Rong Designs:




And Maggie Groves of Broken Images:

Broken Images Maggie Groves 1

Broken Images Maggie Groves 3

Broken Images Maggie Groves 2


Broken Images Maggie Groves

As I was leaving, Mairead Lavery of Lavery Design Studios was moving in. I didn’t get to see her work, but her website shows jewellery, packaging, textiles, and more.

There are a few more artisans, but they hadn’t moved in yet. I will link to them when I get more information from WANT.

And just for good measure, a sneak peek for you of my own section:

Lynn's Lids at Market 707

Lynn's Lids Sheepy Dryer Balls at Market 707

Lynn's Lids Wool Catnip Balls at Market 707

Lynn's Lids iPad Mini Sleeves at Market 707

Location and other information on the Etsy local event. If you are in the neighbourhood (or not!), do drop by and take a look!


One of a Kind Show and more

Well, it’s been a while, I know.

I’m in the throes of custom orders, but I thought it was time to do an update.

The One of a Kind Show was great fun, if a little exhausting. Being primarily an online seller, I do love to get out there, and let folks see, feel, and, in the case of my hats, try on my products, and to talk to people. Another favourite activity is getting out and about and seeing what my fellow amazing artisans are creating. I even did some shopping and bought myself a new dress from Frëtt Design, a Québec clothier and my favourite from last year’s Spring One of a Kind Show. I also bought myself a vintage map of Toronto pillow from my friend Helen of County Cupboard for my late, great dad’s wingback chair that I inherited:

The show itself was long:

The cherry picker blocking my One of a Kind Show table during setup

Tuesday was move-in, where I had to set up my table with a huge cherry picker parked directly in front of my table (see right).

I came back later that evening (setup was until 10pm the night before), but it was still there. So the first day was an early morning, since it opens at 10am, but media is allowed in at 9am, and I had to get back there before 9am to make sure it actually looked okay, and to get my garland and sign pinned up.

Did I tell you the story of the garland? It was my favourite wool sweater (no, I didn’t make it, it was a store-bought gift from my husband), which finally wore through the elbows. Generally I cut up old woollens into strips and use them as the centres of my dryer balls, but I couldn’t let go of my sweater. Since it was in the same colour scheme as my logo (surprise, surprise!), I decided to felt the sweater, then cut it up and make it into a garland. That was back last September, just before the Danforth East Arts Fair. For the One of a Kind Show, I was going to buy a sign, but I still had a good portion of that sweater left, so I decided to try make my own sign. It was really not what I needed to do in the week leading up to the OOAK Show, but it turned out pretty good (not perfect, but a good first try) and it was a fun needle felting project. This photo shows the first day, before the show opened and before I turned on the lights:

Speaking of the week leading up to the OOAK Show, on the day before move-in, I received an email from a home magazine saying they wanted to include a set of my Sheepy Dryer Balls in a “laundry” issue, and they needed them by Thursday. I would have loved to have picked out or create 3 perfect specimens for them but I didn’t have any blanks left and I was packed up and ready to move in so I had to make do. I also didn’t have time to drop them off anywhere but luckily they came by and picked them up!

My friend Helen and I carpooled and shared a parking pass, which was great. I had a four friends (thankfully I have the kindest and most generous friends) come by to spell me off for a couple of hours so I could take a break each day. That was fantastic since Wednesday I started before 9am and closing time was 9pm. Thursday was the late night shopping, plus there was a new seller breakfast and info session, so we were there from about 9:30am-11:15pm. Friday and Saturday were 10am-9pm, and Sunday was 10am-7pm, plus move-out. Although Saturday and Sunday were the busiest for foot traffic, Thursday and Friday were the busiest for sales, which was interesting.

I had a great time with my Etsy Section neighbours, including Son of a Woodcutter, Misses Country, CGMonsters, and Green Honeydew (photo below doesn’t show all of our tables, as Son of a Woodcutter was beside Misses Country):

It is a fun atmosphere in the Etsy Section, as cosy as it is. The section itself is a big attraction for people, but the major drawbacks as a seller to the section is that if you are placed in the middle aisles, it gets too crowded (I felt very fortunate to be placed where I was on the outside of the section) to get around, and for each of the 50 tables in the section, you can only have a maximum of 3 people at your table at one time. That said, it was a great opportunity to get my name and products out there, it was a ton of fun, and I feel it was a great success. My Sheepy Dryer Balls also got a mention on a lovely and informative Streamlife blog in an entry about the One of a Kind Show, for which I am very grateful.

Tips for the OOAK Show if you are a vendor:

  • Enlist friends to help you if you can. Even just an hour off to eat a meal quietly is a welcome break. If your friends can’t do it, employ a booth sitter for a little break.
  • If you need a nap, there is a nap room. There are only 3 cots, but at least there is one!
  • There is a registered massage therapist with whom you can sign up for a massage if you need one.
  • Bring your own food. The show is expensive enough without adding overpriced food to your expenses. There is an artisan lounge with microwave ovens to heat up your meals, a fridge, free coffee, tea, tables and chairs, and a computer.
  • Bring a bottle for water. There is an HTO water refill station, but if you forget your bottle you’ll pay $5 for water. And it is super-dry in there so you need to keep hydrated.
  • I had an anti-fatigue mat upon which to stand and I think it saved me, since that floor is concrete. $25 well spent.
  • Smile. Engage with folks. Stay off your phone. Meet your neighbours. Enjoy yourself. And when the final announcement is made that the OOAK Spring Show is closed, have a good hearty cheer with all of the other vendors (that was a fun surprise!)
  • Use the mentor program. I wish I had done so.

Lots of family and friends came by to visit and cheer me on, which was a real treat. Here’s a photo of a local friend and Swag Sisters owner, Guy, and I having some fun with hats late on Thursday night. (Incidentally, I am in the Frëtt Design top that I bought at last year’s Spring OOAK Show.) Thanks, Erin (also of Swag Sisters fame!), for taking the photo.

Guy and I in some Lynn's Lids at #OOAKS14

During the OOAK Show, I received a message from someone in the US who loved the Toronto iPad Mini sleeve, but she keeps chickens, so she was wondering if I could make her an iPad sleeve with a chicken on it. So after the OOAK Show was over, I got to work on that, which was a totally fun project! She has since received it and is very pleased:

The other custom orders I have been working on have been custom sizes for Toronto tea cosies.

Lynn's Lids custom sized Toronto tea cosy

Next up are a couple of custom Teavana cosies, one with the Eiffel Tower and one with a carousel. I will post those when they are complete, but my rough sketch for the carousel is:

And finally, last week I taught another needle felting class at The Purple Purl, which was great fun, as always. Bunnies are an ambitious project for a first class, but we mostly fared well, and here are our results:

There are a few other things in the pipe, but they will have to wait until next time.

Work mode

I know I haven’t been blogging much. I apologize. I’ve been working instead, and that only allows time for microblogging. Like these tweets and instagram posts below.

So if you want to stay in touch during this One of a Kind Show production crush, try my twitter feed, or check out my instagram, or “Like” my facebook page. Because apparently I only have time for microblogging…

#ooakdiaries #ooaks14

On the road to the One of a Kind Show…

The surefire sign that I’m in production mode for the One of a Kind Spring Show & Sale (#OOAKS14) is that all of my heating vents look like this:

Lynn's Lids dryer balls, drying on heat vent
Plain (dark grey) dryer balls, drying.

Also, my desk is covered in hats. It’s embarrassingly messy so I refuse to take a photo, but just imagine 15 felted hats all stacked in a pile. It’s time to take stock of them and put them away for now.

I always have a hat or a tea cosy (or both) on the knitting needles. Yesterday I finished an olive baker boy (this style) and cast on a black original cloche (like the one shown at the bottom of this post).

washed and carded wool
Washed and carded wool, a stage between shearing and spinning into yarn.

If you’re wondering what the dryer balls are made of, generally the core is made from recycled wool sweaters (I actually have some cashmere ones that had holes in them and it’s kind of painful to cut them up and use them as cores…) or hats that didn’t work out, which is wrapped in undyed wool roving, and then wrapped in undyed yarn. The roving and yarn comes from an eastern Ontario farm. What’s roving? you ask… That’s wool that’s been washed and carded (brushed) but before it’s been spun into yarn. Shown at right in natural white, brown and dark grey:

A bit of fun: on Friday night I was riding the subway and saw 3 ads in a row for Etsy including this one!
Etsy ads on TTC subway!
And lastly, here’s a little known Lynn’s Lids fact: This past week I sold my very first Etsy hat! (I have sold hats to folks I know online but never via Etsy) Granted, I only had a few hats listed last year, but I am encouraged to list more now. I have several to list, I just have to get out and photograph them. However, now that I am in OOAK making mode, it may not happen. Something to work on for next fall!

Below is the hat that sold, and to add to the firsts: it was to my very first Etsy customer, from over a year ago! This one is my original pattern, as most of them are, but this was my first pattern. I think I’d just seen King Kong and I was in a 1920s mood. I love this one for winter since it goes down nice and low over the ears and the little lip at the front is enough to keep the snow out of your eyes. It keeps you warm in style.
My first Etsy hat sale!