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But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)

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LadyJaneinMD had a great idea in the Beggars & Moochers thread of starting one specifically for those who craft and are constantly begged for work to be done cheaply or even for free. Happily, here it is.

I write. Not surprisingly, I get asked (more accurately, it's assumed) to write for free because "after all, you like to write so it's not like it's work for you." Closely related to that is the "you like to read so you can edit my book (note: for "royalties")," followed by "you can review my book on Amazon!" Ugh. I also love the "I have this great idea for a book! I'll tell it to you, you write it, and we'll make lots of money!"

How about you?

*edited to add one more example*

Oh, my friends step daughter's niece's dog groomers vet is having a baby..can you make that scalloped baby blanket by Friday?  You must have the 8 balls of the special yarn in just the right color I want.  What?  You can't make a blanket in 2 days?  What????  It will cost me the yarn plus a fee for your time?  But it is your hobby!!  You love doing these things!  How hard can it be?

Conversation slightly (and only slightly) exaggerated but it happens so often that it almost has made me quit telling people I knit. 

My sister is in public relations..oh, the people who just want to 'pick her brain' (i.e. get her to write brochures, proof their promo materials, give them ideas how to run an event).  Of course the brain pickers don't want to pay her going rate because, ya know, they're friends and that is what friends do. 

I sew.  I can also knit, embroider (machine and hand), quilt, counted cross stitch, and simple reupholstering of chairs & benches.  Also some home repair things like replace the screens in window screens or build replacement frames and install the screen in them, replace light switches, and so forth.....I also LIKE to upgrade & refurbish working laptops and computers and troubleshoot non-working ones for myself or close family.

I have had a SIL more or less demand a counted cross stitch Bible cover for her birthday (did the counted cross stitch on flat Aida cloth and then made the cover to fit her Bible).  It's been over twenty-two years and I have yet to get a thank you or a birthday present from her (or them).  Apparently since I was making one for my own mother, it shouldn't be that much trouble to make another one, different design & size for her....

I mentioned having made an outfit for myself at work (odd size) when another coworker who was pretty much the same size and found ready-to-wear didn't fit thought that she could bring the fabric to me and I'd make her one, too.  Ah - I sew for myself & close family who will make dinner while I sew and clean house (depending on how long the project takes) - if I sew for others, I have enough experience that I think I'm worth MORE than minimum wage.  I did offer to teach her for free one weekend....she didn't want to drive 30 miles but did seem to realize that she was asking for a lot more work that she'd first thought.

I've worked on computers for my mother, sister, daughter, husband, son, and an older woman who had bought the computer from me & was having trouble with it (long story - we are in a social group together, as well - so more than mere acquaintance, less than BFF).  Turned out it needed to be moved to another room to reach her DSL outlet and she was afraid that she'd never get all the wires hooked up correctly.  I've replaced hard drives, added extra RAM, added a Bluetooth radio card, and replaced a monitor screen in a laptop.   I've also done a lot of malware removal, reinstalling of the factory image, and learned which of several free shareware programs will get a laptop "working" reasonably well again without doing a complete factory image recovery (no way to back up the personal information or the install disks for some additional programs had been lost). 

But I don't do any of it for a living - I do it for FUN!

I made my niece a blanket and several hats when she was born. (December baby, it was COLD out.) I actually made her one hat while my sister was in labor, and the hospital was nice enough to let sis use that hat on her for her first day. I've made fingerless wrist warmers for people, and scarves and such, but I haven't for about a year or so.

I still have people ask me if I can make things for them. Um, no. I can barely crochet or knit a single row in a scarf without paying for it for several days, my wrists are that bad. I mean, if they want to come to my job and do it for me since I won't be able to use a computer, that's fine, but it's amazing how nobody is ever willing to actually do that.

Sis has had people ask her for drawings that they can use online for various things, and while she does love drawing, she doesn't think she's very good at it and it takes her a long time for her to determine that something is good enough to be shared. If she responded to all those requests of artwork, she'd never have any time to actually do anything else. It's slowed since she left that online community and had a child, but there are still people who ask her to draw something for her with ridiculous stipulations.

The only time I feel okay asking for something from someone is if they offer a gift of a craft and then ask what I want. I had a friend offer me a drawing for my birthday because she was in tough financial straits but still wanted to get me something. She's also offered to do any perpetual makeup on any ball jointed dolls I get, and offer her services at making me a ring if I ever wanted it. I've taken her up on the art so far, but I'd never imagine going to her and demanding things just because she likes to do them.

A friend asked me to "help" her alter a jumper dress.  I sew well enough to make simple repairs, so thinking it was just a bit of taking in the side seams, I agreed.  I ended up having to take the stupid thing apart and basting it back together 4 times before friend proclaimed herself satisfied.  I did the final sewing 3/8" out from the last basting line, returned it to her, only to have her say, "It's too tight."

The dress had originally come from a standing kiosk near the Russian River for $25, so I told her to go buy herself another one in the correct size.

I don't sew for friends anymore.


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