This December my nieces back home in the Philippines received their own copies of The Magic Paintbrush. I heard that they loved reading it. Just knowing that they did warms my heart this Christmas.
I usually pay for one table whenever I sell at a craft fair because that's what I can only afford. However, in these two events I was given another table for free! This made me realize that I can actually fill up two tables with no trouble.
TIPS FOR MORE CREATIVITY: Come to the craft fair feeling positive. If you are nice to the organizer and the vendors around you, you'll never know what kind of blessings will come your way. I wasn't just given a free table, I was offered by a vendor to use her extra black cloth. I grabbed the opportunity and challenged myself to be spontaneous in displaying my goods.
That's all it takes! Just one child loving my book and the crafts I make and I become as happy as a lark.
Here are the crafts I've been making and selling at craft fairs. On its second year, the snap jewelry (bracelets & necklaces) are still a hit. There are a couple of vendors selling snap jewelry at the craft fairs, but my booth offers different sizes for kids and adults. The blank notebooks with stackable crayon pens are also doing well. It helps to know that the pens are an attention grabber so I make sure I never run out of them.
I've been making some hairclips, too. Learning how to make them is easy peasy! Just attach your appliques, buttons, or resin on the clips using the glue gun and display them on clip holders. The only challenge for me was finding the materials. I had to surf online for hours to find the cutest designs and cheapest deals. If you want to make some money, you have to find something different and more affordable. Just be resourceful and persevere! In no time, I found the suppliers whom I rely on. :-)
Have you tried making things out of duct tape? There are endless possibilities! One thing I learned from watching YouTube was making bags with fabric and duct tape. I made two small sizes, big enough to carry my books.
And while shopping at Beverly's Fabric, I came across placemats made of fabric and "chalkboard" cloth. With a little imagination, I invented my own version with the use of some duct tape for the back and sides. Kids can take this with them at restaurants while waiting for their orders. They don't have to worry about messy it up with spills.
My newest additions are these two products— key chains and bookmarks. For the keychains, I add charms to the furry balls to make them fancier. I made the bookmarks by using colored paper clips. I tied a ribbon to the paper clip or glued a button on it. To make the bookmarks more appealing, I make my own bookmark holders made of craft papers.
TIPS FOR MORE CREATIVITY: It's ok to look around and learn from others. If you want to make something different, add your personal touch or new ideas to an old idea. By doing so, your end product will be your own creation and it will stand out from the rest.
It's so easy to make your own signs. Just make sure the paint or pen you choose go well with your color scheme. I love purple so I played around with different shades. This way it will also match my banner.
Here is how I did my "Meet the Author" sign board. I went to buy an old frame at a garage sale and painted it myself. I found some acrylic paint at Michael's, a plum color and a multi-surface premium chalky acrylic paint for that chalk effect. Then I bought white and purple chalk marker for the lettering.
I never did some painting projects like this, but I challenged myself.
I think it turned out great! It blends beautifully with everything.
Next time I'll show you how I did my price tags. I already made them with purple markers, but I want to redo them with stencils.
TIP FOR MORE CREATIVITY: Observe how vendors are displaying their booths and learn from them. One of the things I see on tables are chalkboard signs. Chalkboard designing seems to be the in thing. With that knowledge, I try to make my own sign board.
KC is always the first one to read my new book.
Marco can't take his eyes off the front cover of Zoobooloo.
Happy to know that Ayden is enjoying his book!
These three photos were taken last year when I first met Jessie and Jill.
An avid fan of The Magic Paintbrush, Jessie and Jill are back for more!
Always a pleasure to be around this family! Thank you, Stephanie and family for the visit.
Nothing compares to the joy I feel whenever I see photos of children reading my book.
This was taken while watching over Cloe the whole afternoon. She loved reading The Magic Paintbrush so she was so excited when I showed another book that I had written.
I sent a copy of Mud Spots and Candy Sprinkles to my illustrator in the Philippines. She said her two kids were so thrilled to find out that their mom illustrated this book.
Here are the grandkids of my poet friend, Carole. They have just discovered two new favorite bedtime stories.
I couldn't visit Ayla while she was about to go through her first chemo treatment so I sent her a copy of Mud Spot and Candy Sprinkles. I wished I could give her even just a few minutes of happiness through my book.
I didn't get to post any of my craft fairs last year so I decided to make a collage of some of the best shots.
Yesterday was my very first book reading at a school. I was invited by Judie Huegel, one of the mothers, to help celebrate Read Across America and Dr. Seuss Day. I was so excited to find out if the kids would love my books.
The 3rd graders (photo on the bottom left) were very responsive. They openly smiled as I read Mud Spots and Candy Sprinklers. One redhead girl secretly pointed out her freckles to me in reference to Molly. That meant a lot! I was happy to know that a kid could relate to my story. I thought I was just going to read one book, but the kids asked me to read The Magic Paintbrush. It was music to my ears hearing them laugh, especially when I read to them that Alexa's painting of a cloud looked like a puddle of cow's poop. This seems to be the funniest part of the book.
The fourth graders (photo on the right) were more reserved, but they were very inquisitive. I was asked again to read The Magic Paintbrush. Obviously, the t-shirt I was wearing with The Magic Paintbrush book cover on it made them curious about the book. During the question and answer portion, my most favorite question was, "Will you write a sequel?" I nodded my head and asked them to tell me what they thought would be a good story for The Magic Paintbrush II.
These were some of the responses:
- Alexa loses Picasso, the magic paintbrush, and finds it in the garbage can.
- There will be a battle between Picasso and an evil paintbrush.
- Picasso gets broken and Alexa finds a way to fix it.
- Somebody steals Picasso.
I told them that I loved the idea of somebody stealing Picasso because that will be the main plot of the second book. Only they know who will steal it from Alexa. ;-)
I was asked if I would come back to share the sequel to them. I happily answered, "Why not?"
I’m Christine L. Villa, the creative explorer who eats, sleeps, and breathes everything creative from children’s books, Japanese short-form poetry, to arts and crafts.