A happy act of good timing means that this sits reasonably well with the latest challenge over at Colour Create, so I've been spurred into action that I otherwise may have put off, who knows - actually finding where I'd safely stashed the cigar boxes after last time is a miracle too, so clearly I had to settle in and make the most!
A friend who should know better asked me to repeat an idea I used for another, mutual friend's birthday present. This time, for baby Evan, who arrived this month; she feels that a box for storing little treasures will make a more enduring gift than a set of vests. I agree; after all, if you aren't a scrapper, you need somewhere to put baby's identity bands and first few bits and pieces that you fully intend to 'do something with'.
Now, I have no problem with anyone choosing to give me a hand-made/home-made gift. Perhaps, because I hand-make/home-make myself, I understand every nuance of its creation and I truly appreciate it. Whatever it is. Slipper Lady, Lady Nurse and I have discussed this in the past, but I'd like to put it out here too; after all, it's raining again, I'm fidgeting for the want of something interesting to do and this micro speck of interweb is always good for a balanced opinion.
Why has my friend asked me to paint and prettify a box as a gift for baby Evan if she feels that she also needs to buy something to go with it to make it a worthy present? I'm not hurt or bothered by her telling me that she'd add to it, it's entirely up to her of course. I've experienced it a few times - made a keepsake or an album of an event as a gift for a family member for example, only for Mr Dunnit to suggest that we should buy something anyway - note the 'anyway' not 'as well'. Slipper lady experienced the same reaction after the creation of a hugely involved and labour of love type album for a family member. Her wing man was a little shaken by her estimation that the hours and materials spent thus far probably exceeded £300 worth of presents! Do we perceive home-made gifts as somehow, not worthy? Have we, over our years of crafting, been so damn modest that we've forgotten to measure the worth of what we produce? In many ways I think we have. If you think I'm being dramatic - go browse Etsy for a few minutes. And be honest with yourself. How many times do you look at a camera strap with ribbon sewn over it, or a knitted gonk type toy, or a bunch of journalling labels or clutch bags made out of 're-purposed men's shirts' and think 'blimey, that's a lot of money for a ...blah blah'.
There are moments when I think that some of the charges being applied to hand-made anything are ludicrous. But there are also moments when I'd happily shell out for whatever it is. It's about want. You ever watch that tv programme where the house-hunters have to guess the value of property that they've viewed? They always, always over estimate the cost of the property they fall in love with. Because they want it and therefore its worth is greater. Same with cards and boxes and gifts that people ask you to make. They ask you - they want it. Look 'em in the eye and give them a price. Don't be apologetic and don't instantly explain it - that's so amateur. Just think of Etsy and the amount of neck some of those sellers have. Go for it!
Now, I'm rarely asked to do anything on a commission basis (I have to force my 'art' on people by giving it to them as a gift!) so I have no idea what to charge for the baby's gift. But you can bet your life I'll find it too hard to take my own advice!
Oh and back to 'cute' - Angie, I'll post the other 'cute' cards after the workshop. Meanwhile, how about a shot of the Doodlebug house in all it's glory: (Carmen, you may need to look away -it's a tad on the pink side)!