Monday, June 20, 2011

Mixed Bag Mondays - They, From Whom All Good Things Come

Most people that spend any amount of time shopping handmade are probably familiar with the phenomenon known as an Etsy Treasury or Artfire Collections - those wonderful showcases of a curators favorite items, based on a theme, color, or relationship with the people featured. Most treasuries and collections are full of lovely handmade new and amazing vintage finds.

There is one group, that if we are honest about it, are conspicuously missing from these chances to be in the spotlight. There seems to be a somewhat unspoken code that speaks to the secrecy of where crafters purchase their supplies. This mindset of secrecy often carries through to blogs and other places where new handmade and vintage items are promoted freely and abundantly.

I guess I just don't get it... and I personally don't think it's exactly fair to some of the amazing supply shops that feed our cravings for the finest quality, most unique, or simply best value for our creative dollars. With that, I am sharing some great supply shops here today. To those of you looking for quality, variety, fair prices, and just some great people to deal with, you just might find a new vendor. To those of you who are thinking knowing the prices of components might give you some bargaining power, don't forget that a finished product consists of many pieces, and often the least costly of these is the price of the supplies needed to create it. So if you ever visit a supply shop and see the briolette stones selling for $5 that someone charged $25 for as a pair of earrings, keep in mind that in addition to the stones, there's shipping and handling to purchase it, PayPal and listing fees to sell the finished item, additional components (trust me, the price of metals has easily tripled over the past year), business expenses like marketing, bookkeeping, inventorying, creating a prototype, paying taxes, and if you're in it as a business rather than a hobby, you have to consider time so you can pay yourself somewhat less than minimum wage most of the time. If the worst thing I have to consider is someone running across the price of a component I use, life is good! Heck, it's great! After all, considering there are nearly 7 billion people on the planet, I'd hate to even consider being the only game in town in keeping them properly accessorized!

Now, without further ado, here is the first of the great supply shops I've come to know over the past few years and would love to share with you! Check them out if you love crafts - you never know what you'll find and often they carry items you'll never find in regular retail outlets!

I've done quite a bit of sewing in my lifetime, and while jewelry design and crocheting are my current crafty passions, I still enjoy making the occasional outfits for the grandkids, or costumes for Al and I for the Renaissance festival, and even some home decor items. I'm always on the lookout for a good deal on beautiful fabric, trims, and notions - and Audrey's Fabric and Trim, the online version of Audrey Struwe's brick and mortar shop, Audrey's Fabric & Accessories, on main street in Sulphur Springs, TX, has a wonderful collection of items for all your sewing needs - from fat quarters for those quilts to special order cuts of home decor and upholstery fabrics, and great trims too.

Whether you're looking for a beautiful watercolor batik print to match up with a more subtle marble like these beauties...

Or some vintage inspired cottage chic for that darling toddler dress and pinafore, or those home  decor pieces...

Or just a great selection of supplies, notions, precuts, or custom cuts for any of your sewing projects...

Check out some of Audrey's wonderful items by visiting her shop and then take a few to wander on over to her blog for some great stories of life on main street, as well as super deals and great promotions!

Over the next few weeks, I'll be featuring some more great supply shops here on Mixed Bag Mondays, including yarn/fiber supplies, jewelry supplies, paper crafts supplies, and some general crafts supplies as well, so be sure to stop on by!


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