Monday, 30 November 2009

Big Thank You and roll on 2010!

I'm really grateful to everyone who so very generously took the trouble to share their own experiences of 'craft fairs' and to help me clarify my thoughts about the meaning of (crafting) life!  You're all so kind and it was genuinely helpful.  



As with most of you, 'making stuff' has always been a part of my life.   One of my earliest memories (maybe I was about 5) is of constructing little gardens in the mole-hills on the village football pitch.  Then I'm sure I got badges in the Brownies for knitting or somesuch thing!   My mum showed me how to embroider and I've still got a tablecloth I decorated with satin-stiched flowers when I was about 10 - goodness that would certainly qualify as 'vintage' now.   




And over the years I have dabbled in all sorts, loving to make things for my home and for presents.   Kind friends and relations encouraged me to make-and-sell, which I did in a very small way.   When I gave up my proper job I had more time to indulge my creative side and opening an Etsy shop seemed to be an easy way to answer the often-posed question, "Have you got a website?".   The shop wasn't ever meant to be the main focus of my crafting, just somewhere to refer people to see the kinds of things I made.  The selling thing was a handy way of financing my new-found love of felting and bought me the freedom to 'play'.  But I can see now, with your help, that the cart is now before the horse, as the old saying goes.    I seem to be making simply to keep my shop 'shelves' filled and to try and make things that will appeal to people at these 'craft' fairs.

So the New Year will bring a different approach.   I hope to take part in one or two strictly handmade fairs next year, in the expectation that visitors will have been attracted by that title and will have a realistic vision of what will be on show.   And I want to spend more time experimenting with felt, perhaps creating natural dyes and doing more three-dimensional work and nuno felting.  

So I'm sorry this is such a droney post, but I wanted to say a big thank you and demonstrate that I had used your kind input to help me make up my mind where I go from here.  

The next few days will be a bit of a write-off on the crafting front, because, (as you do in the cold depths of winter) we're having a new central-heating boiler installed and my workroom is now scattered over several spare bedrooms while the floorboards are up, the water is turned off, every outside door is wide open and it's perishing!   Oh dear, I don't do cold ....

12 comments:

Things Hand Made said...

Not a drony post at all. I visit your blog because you say so much of what I am thinking. I have rattled and rattled around with this idea o selling the stuff. I have come up with the answer that yes I could sell my stuff but that doesn't mean I have too. My thing for 2010 is valuing my own work and not needing other people to value it enough to buy it. Role on 2010, who knows what that will bring?!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you've found some resolution, Chrissie and I wish you all the very best for 2010. As you already know, I love seeing your latest creations and have thoroughly enjoyed following your creative process via your blog and in person. I'm so glad you have chosen to follow your heart and can't wait to see what emerges!
Lots of love, Anne

Ange said...

Good on you Chrissie!! I'm looking forward to seeing where this new direction is taking you too... Make what you love, you will find the people who will follow you for who you are as much as what you do! Happy Christmas period and good luck with the installation of the new boiler! xx Ange

AeFondKis said...

Hi Chrissie, you say what we all feel...good on you! Crafters never get truly paid for their labours I think. It can be a hit or a miss..people often want something for nothing and it makes you feel frustrated. I agree about filling up the esty shelves syndrome..building up a client base is incredibly down to the luck of the craft gods!! Certainly doesn't bring home the bacon! Good luck at your new year new direction, will be having an appraisal myself...
Linda x

Menopausal musing said...

Good for you re reaching your decision! I know you must be feeling cold, but it will be worth it when you have had the work done and are all "toasty" and warm.

Uta said...

I'm sending you some warmth and sunshine. We have plenty. I'm so happy to hear you have worked through your setback. The world wouldn't be the same without your beautiful work. I also want to recommend a book on natural dyes that is absolutely fabulous. Its called 'Eco Colour' by India Flint. I just love love love this book!

Penny said...

I so enjoy reading your blog and think your work is wonderful and inspiring. Good luck with the new boiler! I would send some sunshine, but its -5 up here just now!

Pomona said...

I hope you will still put your lovely things in your Etsy shop so that those of us living far away can see them and buy them!

Pomona x

Chrissie said...

Thank you, lovely ladies! Now I just have to 'put my money where my mouth is'!
And thank you all too for the sunny thoughts, it's a bit shivvvvvery here, but things are progressing well.

LOVE STITCHING RED said...

Hi Chrissie, just wanted to say hello and hope that you work things and enjoy your creating again

Carolyn x

florcita said...

I'm glad you've decided to go on. I think we all have to decide that this we do because we are lucky enough to have foudn something that we like doing and that allows us to express ourselves (as opposed to working in an office shuffling papers). SO, we have to remember that and keep it in balance. Sure I'd like to sell so I can fund the crafts I make; but the money shouldn't cloud my inspiration...
I want to make what I like making, not what the market asks. One thing I have learnt for sure: things won't really sell unless it' syour own product and not what the market expects. Just because everyone is making felted pebbles, it doesnt mean that you should go make the same and bore yourself to death...
Good luck with the heating!

Julia said...

I liked your post, it resonates because I had a similar epiphany regarding creating stuff a couple of years or so ago. I found I was creating to just sell and make money (and it didnt work anyway) - Id forgotten how to enjoy myself and how to make or paint things that inspired me, just for the sake of it. I think when our art and craft lacks that inspired glow , it doesn't shine out to others either.
Whatever lights your flame - thats what works.
And if someone likes something you have made enough to buy it, then you have prospered twice - once from the delighted feeling of making something unique with your own two hands from that deeply inspired place, and secondly from the equally wonderful feeling that someone else has recognised and rewarded your individual talent.
Good luck with your creative journey.

Love and Light
Julia x