Friday, 24 October 2014

a realisation (or 'a crafty ramble by jenny')

I'm currently working towards a craft fair on 1st November held in the village I work in, Poynton (most recently featured on Luis' final bake on the Great British Bake Off). I'm counting this as my first ever craft fair, although back in March I did a table-top sale . However I sold nothing because people weren't prepared to pay for handmade gifts an account of it being March, and other tables were selling items at 50p or less (but I'm not sore, in fact I had a lot of fun!). Maybe even because what I was selling wasn't good enough, but I feel that it is :)
I've known for a month I'll be doing this fair, and have a reasonable size stock to take to it. I've even ordered some business cards! But working towards the fair has made me realise something that I've always taken for granted since getting more serious about my crafting - I'm not interested in selling at fairs

I almost typed that I don't want to do the fair, but that is a lie - I am looking forward to being in the environment, drinking a coffee and knitting, chatting with other crafters and (hopefully!) selling some of my makes.

But I, along with many others I am sure, love to craft different things; once I've made something I am happy to move onto the next thing, rarely using a pattern more than once unless it's something I really love, or a special request. I've also come to love more and more intricate projects, ones that require many elements and details and some time putting them together. The problem with a craft fair is I feel have to make multiple items of reasonably simple things which is not what I enjoy most in my creativity.

Since starting this blog in March (gosh I never thought I could keep this up!) I love writing about the things I make, and since starting to make patterns and tutorials, coupled with working for a local magazine in which my editing responsibilities have been increasing somewhat, I know that my passion lies in writing patterns and writing what I like about certain things I've made or tried, and not as I first thought in growing into a profit-making business.

I'm not going to lie, I would love to make money from crafting, but in dipping my toe into the sea of money-making crafts I know that making isn't what I want to do, but designing - writing and sharing patterns, working towards a book years down the line, and if I can working for a craft magazine! And working towards this craft fair has just stinted me in the time I can spend on designing and making the things I really want to make.

Ravelry is another area I would like to become more adept in - it is such a wonderful pattern database and from everything I read online it is a splendid community as well, though I am so pants at that sort of thing I know I need to spend the time to work out how best to utilise it for myself. My mum was so good at online craft communities and she met lots of lovely people all round the world - I want to be able to do that too. I also want to support Ravelry as a community as well because it is such a wonderful resource and I plan on writing and uploading as many free patterns as I can!
my own pattern - available on Ravelry
I also have all these concerns and worries about copyright and feel safer moving towards free patterns in order to establish myself more, before I consider again selling patterns - I do have lots of ideas for non-branded projects at least, though the work I put into my Spiderman pattern deserves I think it's price tag, and I've been careful to credit Marvel where it is due!
As a result I am wondering whether or not to close my Etsy shop, but I think I would like to keep that open just as a go to with anything I make for the fun of making but no longer want to keep, or to sell the inevitable left over stock I will have following this craft fair!

So as you can imagine, and I am sure you yourself sometimes feel this, that there is just so much to do and so much that you want to do that it can be overwhelming and start to take the fun out of the activities you love. And so an important realisation, even if it may seem a small one, can open the floodgates to optimism and reinvigorate ones passion - as I feel it has done for me! Hence the alternative title for this post - a crafty ramble - as at this moment so many thoughts are simply spilling out!

So with a renewed sense of excitement, I am treating 1st November as a bit of a personal turning point; get the craft fair done (and enjoy it!) and then focus on what I love now about crafting, moving towards improving my blog around/after Christmas, and focussing on designing patterns without the worry of making money, because that isn't what crafting is about for me. :) Also I should be able to afford a laptop again and won't need to type my posts over lunchtime at work or on my tablet at home.

I also need to really develop my Marvel character dolls - I am ever so keen to have my own collection thought up!

Finally, if you are in Stockport or even Cheshire area and can get to The Civic Hall in Poynton on 1st November between 10am and 1pm come and find me at the Autumn Craft Fair - leave me a comment and I can look out for you :) 


10 comments:

  1. I always feel so uncomfortable when I've been at fairs and always feel forced to make conversation which is completely out of my comfort zone. I hope the craft fair goes well for you though and then you can completely enjoy making all these awesome patterns which I can't wait to see. I'll definitely be joining in on the crochet ones x

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    1. yeah making conversation does feel a little forced, but it is something I have become better at since blogging and working full time and I am hoping to make some new friends if possible :) thank you - i do hope you have a go at some of the patterns (if I make anything interesting!) so I know they work. jenny xxx

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  2. I cannot even say how much I relate to this post. I craft loads, usually for myself or for presents, and have so many people saying I should make money from crafting. They don't get it when I say I'm not really into it. But I'm exactly the same, I don't like making the same things over and over again, and I love expanding my knowledge and trying different techniques. Good luck with your craft fair and you're future crafting! :) xx

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    1. oh I'm glad I struck a chord with you - yeah it definately is better learning new things and making the stuff you want to and not just for 'stock'. having said that I am glad I took this step to find that out however :) thank you very much, and thanks for your commenting :) speak soon again! jenny xxx

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  3. I relate to this! I have 18 projects to complete before Christmas. Dave keeps telling me to write a book! We can all dream haha! Xxx

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    1. oh I do dream of doing that :) but I fear working full time cramps our crafting style waaaaaa - jenny xxxx

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  4. I am nowhere near as crafty as you - you clever thing! - but I do completely understand the overwhelming desire to create and to increase your output. My blog is just a hobby, as are the bits of craft I occasionally manage to find time for, but I'd love to have more time to devote to it. Keep up the good work - perseverance is key (along with giving yourself some slack when you don't find time/energy to do it all!).

    pp x
    http://lapetitepie.blogspot.co.uk/

    PS Thanks for dropping by the blog :-)

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    1. aw shucks thank you :) I'm happy you understand where I'm coming from, the danger of trying something out like this with something you love is you risk losing what you love most about it, but I am very glad I gave it a go otherwise I wouldn't know! We can all dream for more hours of leisure time in the day! :) yes time off is important too - mustn't feel guilty if you need to take a break, even from your fave hobbies. Thank you so much for commenting! And I do really like your blog, happy to see more posts going up :) jenny xxxx

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  5. Brilliant piece Jenny :D I totally relate! I do not want to do craft fairs. It takes all the fun out of making things (for me anyway) and I would rather make stuff to my own timetable because I want to and enjoy it. I've closed my Etsy shop for a while so I have no pressure and think about what to do. I love love love twitter and joining in with things and have made wonderful friends, so at the moment I'm just relaxing and doing it for myself. I'll never make my fortune from it lol X

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    1. why thanks Alexandra! :D i know right, I can see why some people are al for it - and absolutely applaud them in doing so, it is a lot of hard work!! I might close my etsy shop which would close an avenue of guilt for all the time I don't spend on it :p but now that it is open I might just leave it ticking over..ah I will see I guess :) YES twitter is so wonderful for joining in and making new friends!! haha we can only dream eh? jenny xxxx

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