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Author Topic: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)  (Read 737753 times)

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #105 on: June 25, 2013, 06:03:38 PM »
Does having people outside of work ask you to use your at work skills for them count?

My beloved (but flakey) friend Hester would often put programs together for our monthly club meetings.  For one meeting she decided that she wanted the mother of another club member to tell the story of her family's escape from Oppressive Country to America.

Hester wanted everyone to be able to follow along by look at maps.  She asked me to bring some maps of Oppressive Country and region.  So I did.

And when I got there, carrying several large atlases (most of them reference items that weren't supposed to go out at all) she complained and complained because she meant I should bring the big roll down map that is permanently attached to the wall in the reference room.  Or the BIG flip chart map (which I have never seen here and neither has anyone else) that we apparently hide somewhere.

It was not the best night I have spent in Hester's company.

Paper Roses

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #106 on: June 25, 2013, 07:41:11 PM »
I had something awkward happen once. I did a favor for someone. It involved some real time on my part, but I was completely happy to do it. The person thanked me and said she should do something for me in return. "No, you don't need to do anything. I was pleased to get that done for you," I told her. Then she said that she was a knitter and that she'd be happy to knit me a scarf as a thank you. Now, the truth is that I'm a big knitter too, and I already have a large collection of handmade scarves, but she didn't know this. I knew she was trying to show her gratitude so I smiled and said "Sure, if you want to make me a scarf, that would be lovely." She then told me that she would just need me to pay for the supplies she would use. I guess I walked right into that one.

In the end, she never did get around to making me a scarf or asking me to cover any costs. But it was awkward at the time. Now I know that if someone offers to knit me something, I should enthusiastically say "I knit too," and try to beandip by discussing what my last big project was.

Wow, that is awkward, on her part. I would've read it as, the whole point of her making something for you was to thank you for the favor you did for her. Having you pay for your thank-you kind of negates it, doesn't it?

Kind of opens up a new level of entitlement, though.  Think about it.  Now we can tell people, "Ok, great.  Now, as soon as I receive payment for ink, paper, postage and time, I'll set aside time to write you a thank you note."
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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #107 on: June 25, 2013, 07:59:02 PM »
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!"

There's a lot of opportunities, if you know how to make them...

Seriously, I would only dream of asking my BF that, but that's because I tend to be an idea person and his proofreader, where he will write things and we will often brainstorm new ideas together.  Mostly fanfics, but. :)


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #108 on: June 25, 2013, 08:49:30 PM »
I'm another in the cooking/baking camp - I'm still working on the expanding the breadth of my dishes, but the ones I do, I do quite well.

I've had one request that irritated me to the point that I did not respond to it (luckily, it was posted on Facebook and not done face-to-face, so I could easily ignore it).  My sister "J" that I share living space with asked me to make a certain dish that had been posted on someone else's Facebook wall.  She made the mistake of asking me on Facebook, so a few days later, another sister posted a "joking" demand on my wall that I make a certain dish for her.

When I made the dish for "J", she paid for all the ingredients for the complete meal that the dish ended up being a part of and made 2 of the sides for the meal, plus since we live together, I got to eat part of it.  Plus, we take turns cooking, so I would have been cooking anyway, either that day or the next.


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #109 on: June 25, 2013, 08:58:45 PM »
But it'll take you no time and you already have the supplies!


I knit (and now I crochet too, yay!) and I'm somewhat good at it. I knit a LOT because it relaxes me, makes the kids happy and I like the compliments it gets me. I know, I'm vain like that! ;)

Sadly it is mostly my parents and in-laws that are terrible at the "You should make X for me for free!" and though my mom will proudly wear anything I make her, I have yet to see my MIL wear the gloves I made her. Then my FIL insists I should make things to sell, but shouldn't charge more than 5-10$ for anything because it's cheaper at Walmart...

I do knit for others, mostly hats for the local hospital where DD2 was born because the nurses were just adorable and they kept saying how sorry they were that they had to reuse hats instead of giving them because they had so few. I happened to have a dozen at home when DD2 was born so I had my mom bring them out when they came to visit and the nurses were overjoyed. Made me feel so important, I swear it kept postpartum depression away!

I also knit birthday gifts for DD1's friends, I mostly make either princesses or superheroes finger puppets and they are a big hit! I've had one woman ask me if I could teach her to make them and she just couldn't get the knitting part so I made the bodies for her and taught her to do the hair and faces. She kept wanting to push money at me, but I declined because I figure I can't really ask for what it's really worth (time and all... I shudder at the 2-300$ finger puppets!), so she baked me a dozen cake pops!

She's also in charge of the Christmas baskets the community puts together for people who have fallen on hard times and she told me that they would take anything I make and include it in the baskets. It was great to hear because I often have so much fun with a pattern that I make too many or I have to stop myself because my kids don't want 5 of the same thing.

Another couple of moms have asked if they could buy a set from me, but I tell them I don't take commissions, but since I enjoy making them so much I can make them a set in my spare time. I have yet to meet someone who will insist or be pushy about it, I guess I'm lucky!

Once I had a mom ask me my price for crocheted penguin hats because I had made one for her kid (DD1's best friend) and quoted her a very reasonable 40$. She was thrilled, it was sooooo cheap! She had dozens of people wanting to put in an order and she would pass my info along.

Not one call.

So I'd rather knit for myself, my kids and charity because it makes me feel like my work is appreciated!


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #110 on: June 25, 2013, 09:10:06 PM »
I decorate fancy schmancy cake. I do them for friends and family at a fairly steep discount because of the fun.

So a friend of a friend rang me and asked if I make cake. Before I could explain that I really only do them for friends and family, she said, 'Because Friend1 told me you made them and were cheap.'

No more cake for Friend1!


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #111 on: June 25, 2013, 09:29:11 PM »
I do sugarcraft. I wish people would ask me to make them cakes. I don't bake as much as I'd like because someone has to eat it.

If you lived near Chicago I would take you up on that offer!


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #112 on: June 25, 2013, 09:38:48 PM »
I made this a while ago

  took it to Michael's to get it framed...and heard from a child in back of me 'Mommy, Can I have that for my room?"  and the mother agreed. She sauntered over looked at me and said " Allison wants that."

Me: " I want it too, and because I stitched it, I am keeping it."

Mom: "Allison wants it, and she gets what she wants."

Me: I used XXX pattern, DMC threads, and it took me 6months to do. good luck doing it for her!"

Mom: " I will just have yours, my older daughter works here and she'll bring it home."
  I did not end up leaving it and it still sits,rolled up in a tube because I won't risk it again. Someday I will have to take a course in framing and matting. :(

As someone who has also done a TW piece, I would be LIVID if someone had the gall to say that to me. 

It's also making me nervous, since I get my stuff framed at Michael's and I'm wondering if they have a procedure for making sure personal pieces don't just "disappear".

Same here. I've done three large pieces & many small pieces, I would have died if anyone stole one from the store when they were being framed. Honestly if someone said that to me I would have found a manager while the lady was still in the store & told them the story. Bet they would have been interested to know!


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #113 on: June 25, 2013, 09:46:20 PM »
The cross stitch stuff reminded me of the time I made a very large cross stitch of The Last Supper, it's just over 2 feet wide & about 10 inches tall. Here's the pattern:

I was very proud of the project & my Mom offered to frame it for me which was great as I knew it would be expensive. When it was all said & done I showed it to my grandma who promptly said I just had to give it to her! Um, nope sorry grandma this took me almost 9 months to make & I loved that project.

Lady Snowdon

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #114 on: June 25, 2013, 09:52:53 PM »
I make soap, and I've found no one wants to buy my finished, beautiful pieces, but everyone wants "a scrap" or "if it doesn't turn out well" or such like.  I am still learning, and a lot of my stuff doesn't turn out great, but that doesn't mean I'm willing to give it away!  Some of it can be remelted and used again, some of it I want to keep for my DH and I to use, and a few pieces I will give to certain friends and family who will give me an honest review of how it smells, how it felt and if they liked it.  That group does not include the coworker who randomly blurts "Hey, you should give me some, that looks cool!" when I show another coworker a picture...

Doll Fiend

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #115 on: June 25, 2013, 10:27:04 PM »
The only person I would craft for free is my Mom. But then she buys the material and bows down to my crafty superiority. She loves what I make and when it is to be a gift (Such as current WIP of a baby blanket for a cousin) She always adds my name to the card and tells them I made it.

When it comes to selling, I believe in the rule of three. 1/3 to cover original cost, 1/3 to cover a second item (Increasing inventory or put to overhead) and the last 1/3 to be profit of yourself. Though some things I round up to a nice round number. (Lace gloves at $6 material easily selling at $20 as an example)


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #116 on: June 26, 2013, 12:36:28 AM »
When my daughter (now 20) was little, I made a quilt for her, with 12 hand-embroidered carousel horses. It took more than 2 years to make, and I embroidered her name on the center block. I was really excited about the way it turned out, so I entered it in the Texas State Fair. To my delight, (and astonishment!) it took a blue ribbon! When I picked it up, I was given 2 comment cards that had been turned in. One offered to buy the quilt for $500. That's a good amount of money, but I had at least $100 in materials, plus the time, so that wasn't even considered. The other was quite sure that I would be willing to "donate the quilt to a family who lost everything in a fire." They didn't give the name of the family, and I really wasn't inclined to donate it anyway. Did I mention that the quilt had my daughter's (full) name embroidered right in the center?
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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #117 on: June 26, 2013, 04:11:44 AM »
Or Web development. Or computer stuff in general. Actually, that could probably be a whole thread on its own: number of times people have wanted me to fix their computer for free, because I am a "computer person" (degree in Comp Sci, professional developer).

Actually, no, I can't fix your computer, because I haven't used Windows for more than simple web browsing for more than 10 years, and when mine breaks, I usually have someone else fix it anyway, because I don't want to deal with it!
I'm a professional developer as well, but I don't spend my spare time taking apart machines or fiddling with hardware, so when I need my pc fixed, I go to my friend who installs wireless networks and ask him for help. In return I bring baked goods and alcohol, and sit with him and chat while he fixes it (so he has company and munchies while he works on it, and something to sip on later after I've gone.)

I also have a background (and some professional qualifications) in Botany, except my qualifications are more related to evolutionary genetics reasearch labs than practical horticulture. It's lovely that you want me to come look at your clivias and yes they are very pretty and no I have no idea about growing conditions or what's eating them or what would be good to plant in your garden this time of year. If you want me to identify that mystery plant, you need to give me a leaf sample and access to a DNA lab and a DNA sequencer for a week to get you your answer, other than "I might be wrong, but I do think.. it's a plant!"


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #118 on: June 26, 2013, 06:29:03 AM »
    Another writer/editor/English Lit person here who gets this kind of stuff more than I'd like. I've been asked (or "voluntold!") to:

    • "help" a friend's friend's high school student daughter with her college application essay. The child had a couple very general paragraphs about her drama class and "dreams" of Broadway, and was very put out when I told her she would have to tailor each essay specifically to each school. "But what should I say" is code for "You write it for me."

    • make "reading lists" for their kids. It's never enough to say they might enjoy ___ book or play. ("He like cars." "She doesn't like zombies.") So I'll spend a few hours writing out a list of specific books related to their interests, and, in a few cases, have even sent books. Only one ever thanked me. Most of the time, the parent just says "Oh yeah. She hasn't had time to read that yet."
    • write a story with them. (Like others have already posted, "If I tell you, you can write it, and we'll get rich!") First of all, it takes a long time to write a full-length novel. I know you heard a cool anecdote about that person who did it in six weeks, but that's not usually the case. And then, the publication process can take years, between finding an agent, editing, sending it to houses.... Even "just doing it online" requires a review process. And you are never never never going to "get rich." If that's why you want to write something, you have no idea what you're doing anyway.

    • read/edit their work, be it a paper for school, or a novel. I've had a few strangers send me things through a family member ("Just take a quick look at it and tell me what you think!") or even, after a few minutes' conversation at a public venue, demand I look at something. There is no such thing as "just a quick look." And I'm not an editor myself, so I don't know what you're expecting me to do with your novel.

    • life-coach someone if they "want to be a writer." This is another one of those "voluntold" things. A friend of my mom will email her saying "I know your daughter is a writer. My daughter wants to write, too. Can she talk to her about it? Give her some suggestions?" My suggestions are, if you want to write, WRITE. I can't magically make that happen if you aren't willing to write things.
    • write something for someone, especially if it is outside my area of experience. Yes, I write. No, that doesn't mean I can do the content for your website. No, that doesn't mean I can "do" your cover letters for you, or your presentation for an undergrad Eastern European History course. And no, that doesn't mean I can just "write a poem" for you for your dad's funeral. And if I suggest three other poems that might make a nice reading and you keep hemming and hawing with "No, not that," then don't ask me for more help. You can Google "funeral poems" as easily as I can.
    • "help" with a teacher friend's class on Shakespeare. Or biography writing. Or Lord of the Flies. Once I spent a week getting materials together for someone's students so he could do a fantastic Shakespeare presentation, complete with my own materials from the Globe and mp3s of relevant music. Barely got a follow-up weeks later saying "I meant to have my students write you a thank-you, but we're just too busy." Never got back my Globe stuff, either.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 06:31:09 AM by poundcake »


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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #119 on: June 26, 2013, 08:32:21 AM »

Magician5 I would gladly send brownies, but given that the UK postal service wants 6.22 to send a birthday card to my DBIL, it would probably be cheaper to come and bake them for you.  DH says the secret to my brownies is that the batter is basically there to hold all the additions together.  I use Dark, Milk and White chocolate (about 400g in total), marshmallows, caramel sauce (made from scratch) and whatever else is at hand.  Chopped up fudge bars, roasted hazelnuts and toffee pieces work well.


And I don't even particularly care for chocolate!