Tuesday 30 August 2011

Yeah, but how long is TOO long?

See this lovely card what was made by Shopkeeper Gal?  I was there when it was started, fiddled about with and finally finished.  See, The Gal takes a lot of commissions, especially from the other business people up and down the strip. (OK, that was a novelist type way of describing Station Road, Tidworth.) And why wouldn't you commission a card, Shopkeeper Gal makes gorgeous stuff I can tell you.  Anyway, she was delivered a rather difficult brief for this card and after we'd all laughed and come up with some incredibly stupid ideas, she set about this colour combo, based on some quick Google type research.  She picked the background paper first. For the record, I got to the shop, to conduct a workshop, at ten.  At about second coffee time, say 11.30,  the Gal had got as far as deciding that she would go with a 'clump' of elements - which is something I do a lot on scrapbook pages and vintage style stuff because it often works.  She did actually say it was in my style, and for about half an hour, I was quite flattered!  The cluster was hearts, paper flowers, the little card of text, the ribbon, and the die cut trail of brown frond at the top, behind the other elements.  It looked lovely we thought.  I did suggest edging the hearts with some brown ink just to pull 'em off the background a bit more...and voila.  It was gorgeous, dimensional and very chic on the 'less Is more' scale.  And Shopkeeper Gal didn't like it.  No - too much white space, and for her, an unusual mild panic about lack of words.  Ah.  Well.  I suggested another die cut frond.  And by half past twelve it had the frond, the skeleton leaves, the die cut labels and the text.  So there we are.  It's still lovely, although not my design (!), and I don't doubt for a minute that the person who commissioned it will be really pleased.  But really.  Two and a half hours.  Now when I'm fiddling about at home, even in 'play' mode, I want more to show for my time than one card - however lovely.  But I don't often achieve that.  It doesn't make me angry, it's just a bit bewildering.    Admittedly, if I can't get it from idea-in-head to card easily, I tend to re-do and re-do which is time wasting/consuming.  I should learn to step away.  But I enjoy the time I spend at my work desk, so I guess it doesn't matter.  Shopkeeper Gal on the other hand, probably only charged about £3 for that lovely card.  Now we all know that isn't enough, so sweep that aside and tell me - how long is long enough for a card or a layout?  Is there such a measure? Do you have to leave your desk with at least something finished to show for your time..or is that me and a deeply embedded need to kinda justify the time spent?  And while you're at it - when did one of your friends last describe your attempt at even having a style as a 'clump'?


Dragon said...

It is beautiful, and very well balanced... as for your questions, I must say I do often, nay usually!!, take a lot of time to make stuff and two and a half hours would be quick!!! But it's the making for me which is THE important thing and if you paid me for my time you couldn't afford me!!!! So the answer is the time you take is the time you want to take and enjoy, no matter long or short in my opinion...

Di said...

Oh Julia - another really funny posting! I'm quite slow when making intricate cards - would love to speed up but my motto seems to be 'I used to be indecisive, now I'm not so sure'. The stepping away often helps I find. Di xx

Simple homemade living said...

The strip!?!?!? I thinkthat was the first and last time station road will ever be called that lol.

The card is beautiful I love it. Time on cards I think is difficult especially if they are for order. I don't think anyone gets paid for the time they put in.

Layouts on the other hand are completley different that is mine that I am going to look at again and again. It will be passed down generation to generation (it better!!) I feel it,s acceptable to spend as much time as you want on them.

It's the same as when you are doing a scrapbook to order you are never going to be paid for the time you put in and it needs to become a factor in how much time you spend.

Gosh I have really rambled this morning!!

Laura x

jodpea said...

I agree with the above, if you paid us for our time you could never afford us - never mind the amount we spend on materials! This is my problem when shifting my stock, I'm a cheapskate and kno I wouldn't pay more than a couple of quid for a card so how can I justify charging more? I do hate spending hours at my desk and having nothing I like to show for it.. maybe exacting standards are our downfall?

CLaire said...

I can take hours making a card, so if they did have to pay by the hour then we would all be very rich but I think we all loose out BIG time...not just on time, sometimes what we use costs more than what they pay.. on the good part it is a hobby and something we enjoy so making a little bit of money is a bonus.
I often find that if the card is being made for family or close friends I tend to take longer to make sure it is perfect... if it is just because I want to make a card then I probably take less time.. most cards I make do tend to take more than two hours... some can take me days !!

Helen said...

Love the card, laughed at the post - I can take ages making a card too. I don't get commissions for mine though so they're just for fun and for me to send people so I don't mind. Not sure I've really timed myself...but I don't think I take as long as Claire - unless you count the tea breaks and getting up off the floor trying to get some feeling back into my legs of course!!

misteejay said...

I think it is a beautiful card.

I dread to think what my cards would cost if I added all the materials and time together - one of the reasons I tend not to sell my cards as I never know what to charge.

Toni xx

Yogi said...

a clump eh!! I don't look at time - really when I'm creating, although I do want something finished if I've been working for some time. I find when I work on my own, I get things finished a lot faster than when I have a play day and try to finish something. It's all the other thoughts going in to the project that takes time. I find I also lose a little of my confidence, so diddle instead of just doing... I find the more you create the more you just know instinctively what will work for your sense of rightness, and the faster something gets done. Then I look at others and wonder why they're taking so long... of course they haven't been doing it as long as I have. Beats me if I answered your question though.

voodoo vixen said...

You and me both Julia... I do 'clump' as well!! OK... have to admit nobody has actually told me that my style is clump-y (would you listen to big head here... my style.... LOL...). If you think charging for cards is a minefield... try charging for a mini book!! I have charged people less for mini books than I have been charged for a one off commissioned card!! Yep, I could spend a morning on one card... and happily give it away at the end of the session and probably have 'plonked' an embelly into my 'clump' that cost me £2 to buy.... so its a darn good job I don't rely on scrapping to pay the mortgage.... ;)

Bleubeard and Elizabeth said...

Now I know why I'm not a card maker or scrapbooker and don't dabble in those endeavers. Of course, for me, when it comes to paper crafts, it usually takes at least a day to come up with a design in my head, then at least one more day to contemplate making it (how often I have gotten the order of things wrong when gluing on a page), then at least a full day to make the project, sometimes more. And if it's a technique I haven't tried before, or for a long time, I have to include in-process photos, which add at least an hour. Now I know why I don't sell my altered books or altered art. Like other commenters said, it can't be for the money because you really don't make any.

Lisa said...

Oh I'm going for the "clump" when I get back to my desk....I have a project that will work brilliantly on.

As for the rest....I take too long, but I enjoy it. I often come back to things hours and days and weeks later. I've got a cunning plan though. When I make a card, and spend ages moving the flower around the card by microscopic increments, and cover the floor in papers to get the right background shade, and stamp out 3 different sentiments cos I can't decide on which one to use......well, the next time I do that, I'm going to make another card EXACTLY THE SAME!

Clever eh? So one card will have been made painstakingly. The other will have taken mere moments, and can justifiably go into my sale box at work for a couple of quid.

Siobhan Brignull said...

any amount of time is fine as long as you are having fun, oh and not on a deadline...LOL

donnalouiserodgers said...

it took Jo and I all weekend to make a mess

plus a bank holiday monday

we needed longer the mess was not big enough

I'm not sure we finished anything

she did comment on my sticky out feet - not sure if it was a style thing tho'

left to my own devices I spend as long as it takes so long as I'm quick doing it


Spyder said...

I know my hubby would say, he'd want an hourly rate,(coz men always think like that!) and then add all the 'stuff' used and price that up too and then, of course all the cups of coffee, lighting, wear and tear on the carpet...the hoover for sucking up all the mess, etc...but then would anyone buy it for £3,000 pounds!! But then of course there's all the 'fun' of making something no one else has and that's priceless! Mind you, cards do sell on ebay from around the £5 up to £95 pounds!! so there is hope for those of us who's friends and family expect them for nothing!

Carola Bartz said...

It really depends, Julia. Sometimes the ideas just come and everything flows and I'm done in a relatively short time. More often than not, however, I have to step away from what I'm working at and do something else. Sometimes for a few days in a row. And then suddenly - click! - it all comes together. If it doesn't, I put it away. A few months later, it will look different. Or I take it apart.

Lynn said...

I often take hours making a card especially if it's for a commission. Like Di I may be indecisive, I'm not really sure. Trouble with me is I can't make up my mind on the design so spend ages thinking about it, then before I get started I think of something 'better' and have to rethink my design. Then I fiddle about for ages re-arranging things or adding bits. I often think that when I am happy with a card I should make at least two more of the same design (different colours/papers perhaps) as they will be a lot quicker to make therefore making the average time spent per card, a lot less. Well at least now I know it's not just me who's like this ... well ... I don't think it is.

Lynn x

jude said...

Sometimes i can take over an hour for a card.Longer if altered item.But have to get it right as if not then that will be
"dumped".Many crafters do under charge for there crafts,dont take into consideration the time it took to make !
I absolutely love this card she's made simple and elegant!Gorgeous colours.I will always think of you when i hear the word DUMP...lol
hugs judex
p.s your posts do brighten up my day and make me smile...lol

angelfish said...

It's a beautiful card and certainly worth more than Shopkeeper Gal will charge for it.
I know Station Road! My aunty and uncle live in Tidworth and I spent lots of holidays with them when I was a little girl.

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