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Author Topic: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)  (Read 591232 times)

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ladyknight1

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #705 on: March 02, 2014, 05:57:21 PM »
Patience is the key to making vanilla extract. That and quality vodka and vanilla beans.

Bourbon. Maker's Mark is what Mrs.k2002 uses.
First time I wanted to make Vanilla extract myself, I did half pint mason jars of vodka, rum, and brandy.  Taste testing (can't remember the timeline for that now) declared brandy the winner.

We use a gluten-free, organic potato vodka. Works fine for me! Brandy tends to lend too much of it's own flavor to the extract, IMHO.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

ladyknight1

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #706 on: March 02, 2014, 05:59:19 PM »
Where I live, you can cook 'commercially' in your home kitchen but you have to have have it inspected by the local health department.  And since I have cats, I haven't pursued it at all.  I bake for my coworkers, and sold fundraiser cupcakes to them, but there are very few in the office who don't have pets of their own so no one gets too uptight about finding the odd cat hair.

As a baker, I would have to rent a commercial kitchen in order to sell anything I make to the public. Nothing from a home kitchen is allowed.
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
-J.R.R Tolkien

buvezdevin

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #707 on: March 02, 2014, 06:07:24 PM »
Patience is the key to making vanilla extract. That and quality vodka and vanilla beans.

Bourbon. Maker's Mark is what Mrs.k2002 uses.
First time I wanted to make Vanilla extract myself, I did half pint mason jars of vodka, rum, and brandy.  Taste testing (can't remember the timeline for that now) declared brandy the winner.

We use a gluten-free, organic potato vodka. Works fine for me! Brandy tends to lend too much of it's own flavor to the extract, IMHO.

I can imagine all kinds of subtle differences in taste from different types, and specifics of the alcohol used for vanilla extract.

But I am now planning to use bourbon the next time I make some, based a linguistic option rather than strictly taste profile.  A PP's comment on labeling extract as "Bourbon in Bourbon" won me.
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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BabyMama

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #708 on: March 03, 2014, 12:32:58 PM »
Yeah, I wasn't expecting a giant windfall, but as they'd bought similar but more mass-produced similars the week before, I figured they would at least look at that as a guide. The gas station charges twice what I charged for ingredients for a dozen. That would have been fair to me.
Was this baking done for a non-profit group? I know it wasn't your intent, but it's not uncommon for people to donate their labor and only ask for their costs to be covered, to help non-profit groups. Perhaps someone misunderstood what you meant by 'this is only the costs of the materials' and thought you were saying that you only wanted to be paid for the materials.
If it IS a non-profit, perhaps you could ask them for a donation receipt for your taxes, in the amount of what your labor would have cost.

No, they're not. I volunteer heavily for a nonprofit and my husband is on the board of the group I baked for, so I'm pretty familiar with the little workings of what you can and can't write off, unfortunately.

Anyway, I won't let it stop me from baking for them again (already volunteered to bake and donate baked goods as silent auction items) but like I said, I will definitely spell it out as clear as I can when the person asks me to bake for her party.

If I had Martha Stewart's kitchen, I'd bake out of it too, lol. There is a woman here who bakes out of her home, but it is faaaaaancy. She has a whole separate wing for baking, and hosts baking classes a few times a year.

The club actually does have a kitchen; usually during the season they hire someone to cook during league nights (usually just burgers and fries.) It's all inspected and up to code, but of course very small. I told DH he should look into leasing the kitchen out in the off season to small time bakers who want to do it more professionally but don't have access to a pro kitchen/who wouldn't need a hotel-sized area. They don't make any money during non-league time, as far as I know.

VorFemme

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #709 on: March 04, 2014, 10:05:26 AM »
There are a lot of Hancock's Fabrics - just not near ME (in the Houston area, it can take over thirty minutes to drive the eleven miles to either of the two closest Hancock's) - the two that were twenty minutes and fifteen minutes away were closed six or seven years ago.  There is a JoAnn's twelve to fifteen minutes away - depending on traffic and another one about twenty to twenty-five minutes away (again, depending on traffic).

Traffic changes a lot based on the time.  There are two (one of each) in relatively close proximity that are just off an expressway - but I can't get to that road without going through a lot of lights on the way....so...twenty minutes plus no matter which way I go.

« Last Edit: March 04, 2014, 03:20:09 PM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

SadieBaby

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #710 on: March 04, 2014, 11:16:58 AM »
I have recently ordered a couple of times from Fabric Mart in Sinking Spring, PA (outside Reading) and have been pleased with them.  I ordered on-line, but their website says they have a retail store.  I live in PA, so sometime in the not too distant future I think I might take a ride down there.  The only problem is that I might not live long enough to sew what I have now!

BarensMom

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #711 on: March 04, 2014, 11:20:01 AM »
We have a few out here - in Vallejo, Napa, San Jose, and Sacramento. 

It's just easier to go to Joann's or take BART and visit Britex.

Xandraea

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #712 on: March 04, 2014, 03:10:27 PM »
I used to love Hancock's Fabrics. I'd drive all the way across town to go to that store. There were a few other smaller versions scattered around, but they weren't as nice as that one. The others have now closed, and the one is renamed "<State>Fabrics" or somesuch. It still has the best selection of fabrics and a lot of sewing patterns to choose from.

I can't stand JoAnn's.  Every JoAnn's I've ever been in has rude staff (if you can find them), a small selection of lesser quality fabrics in tiny amounts, the stores are not particularly clean, and things are not organized in a way that makes sense. I won't shop there at all.

I have crafty ambitions, but haven't stuck with anything long enough to get really good at it. I have a fabric stash (lots of it is polar fleece. I used to make hats/mittens/jackets/blankets for kids) I have lots of seed beads, wire, thread, etc. to make jewelry with, and a small stash of yarn with which I still intend to learn to knit/crochet! I'm always thinking, "I could make that" when I see things in stores, most notably, the American Girl stuff. We have the dolls, I refuse to pay what they're asking for the mass-produced little clothes and accessories! I made my DD's Halloween costumes (my favourite being a gypsy/pirate thing with a gathered-neck shirt, two off-set squares for a skirt with an elasticized waist cut from the center around a dinner plate, beaded belly chain with little bells on it, and a large silk scarf tied over a backwards baseball cap to keep it on her head when she was 2), a white satin and tulle princess dress one Christmas when she was 3, and my recent ambitious project was a mid-calf length skirt made from something like 20 yards of tulle, for a ballroom dance showcase solo. I think I pretty much invented the finishing-off of the satin waist with creative folding and large sewn-on snaps. I always completely underestimate the time required to accomplish these projects and make myself nuts finishing things last minute.

I do envy those with a true gift for making handmade crafts, and appreciate all the work and love that goes into it. I want to be the person who brings a knitting/crochet project with her at all times. :)

RegionMom

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #713 on: March 07, 2014, 06:35:34 AM »
Who says you can't be?  Just be sure to have a prepared response when questioned as you have seen on this thread.

 
Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

RegionMom

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #714 on: March 07, 2014, 06:40:16 AM »
http://31.media.tumblr.com/72eb9807c57151bfaf5e231af5c7c522/tumblr_n0u4yluKz91rg640yo1_500.jpg

What one smart artist did on Not Always Right, with a calculating customer...



Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.

MariaE

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #715 on: March 07, 2014, 08:49:05 AM »
http://31.media.tumblr.com/72eb9807c57151bfaf5e231af5c7c522/tumblr_n0u4yluKz91rg640yo1_500.jpg

What one smart artist did on Not Always Right, with a calculating customer...

That is just brilliant! :)
 
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VorFemme

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #716 on: March 07, 2014, 09:06:48 AM »
I forget where I originally saw it - but I've paraphrased it several times.

At the turn of the (last) century, when women wore hats as part of leaving the house - a man got word that he was being considered for a promotion/new job - but part of the process was an event where his wife would be interacting with their wives (a wife who didn't "fit in" could get him dropped from being considered for the job, in other words).  It would be a dressy event and his wife NEEDED a new hat as she didn't have one of the correct level of recent fashion & whatever other criteria went into making sure that a given hat worked for a given event. 

The right hat was a confidence issue - not just a fashion accessory, in this situation.  (For those who aren't used to wearing hats and only their great-grandmothers used to wear them at all.)

She went to her favorite millener's and tried on every hat in the place - not just the one's that were appropriate - every one of them to see if they were close to the "right hat".  Nope...she tried them all on again...still nope...she was getting visibly upset because she NEEDED the right hat and it wasn't there!

The designer came out and asked what was wrong (either a good customer or one who could easily become one with her husband getting a promotion & raise, I suppose).  She explained everything about the possible new job, more responsibility, the need to carry herself well with the other wives, and the need for the right hat to boost her confidence...especially the fancy event with the other wives which needed a very special hat to stand out as a model of taste & decorum and whatever else the "right hat" was going to prove.

The designer listened, grabbed a velvet remnant, pleating it between practiced fingers, arranging it, and borrowing a diamond stickpin from the woman before placing it at a slight angle on her head.  Turning her to the mirror, the question was "would this work?"

With a gasp, the woman saw on her head the PERFECT HAT, tasteful, rich without being gaudy or ostentatious (small diamond stickpin), it made her look exactly like she'd been wanting to - maybe better (confidence boosted to the max)!

Trembling with joy, she asked the price.  It was HIGHER than expected....trying to bargain a bit (I always wondered if she'd had to buy several new outfits for the interview process), she asked how the designer could possibly charge so much for a remnant of velvet and the stickpin, after all was HERS!

Taking it off her head, the designer removed the pin, shook out the velvet & folded it up, handed it to her customer and told her that the VELVET was free.  But the hat would still be $___!  (Prices have gone up since - leave it as an expensive hat at a time when wages were much, much lower.)
« Last Edit: March 07, 2014, 09:09:34 AM by VorFemme »
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I explain?

XRogue

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #717 on: March 07, 2014, 09:08:14 AM »
http://31.media.tumblr.com/72eb9807c57151bfaf5e231af5c7c522/tumblr_n0u4yluKz91rg640yo1_500.jpg

What one smart artist did on Not Always Right, with a calculating customer...

 ;D Amazing. If only I had the nerve to do that about my cross stitching.... >:D

wx4caster

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #718 on: March 07, 2014, 11:54:10 AM »
http://31.media.tumblr.com/72eb9807c57151bfaf5e231af5c7c522/tumblr_n0u4yluKz91rg640yo1_500.jpg

What one smart artist did on Not Always Right, with a calculating customer...

 ;D Amazing. If only I had the nerve to do that about my cross stitching.... >:D

Three words for you - Subversive Cross Stitch
The days are long but the years are short.

mime

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #719 on: March 07, 2014, 12:41:20 PM »
http://31.media.tumblr.com/72eb9807c57151bfaf5e231af5c7c522/tumblr_n0u4yluKz91rg640yo1_500.jpg

What one smart artist did on Not Always Right, with a calculating customer...

That is just brilliant! :)

It is brilliant!

Now I will admit that when I go to craft shows I also mentally add up the cost of materials and see how that compares to the price. I then think of the time and effort it would take me to do the same thing and decide if it is worth it to me. I hope where I differ from SS customers is that I absolutely DO value the time and expertise. A few years back, I bought two quillows for $35 each. The workmanship was very simple but nice, (the calico panels themselves were already elaborate). No matter how I tried to estimate the fabric, batting, and notions, I could not make these things add up to less than $50 apiece. The lady must have been able to get bulk pricing on the fabric (I'd seen some of the same styles at stores so I felt I had a very good idea of the cost). I think she was underselling herself. I wish I had paid a little extra, because they were so worth it.

Now I want another one and she appears to be retired, but not after totally spoiling me! I bought the materials to do one myself that is very comparable to the ones I have, and it cost me $30 so far. I know I'll be putting in way more than $5 of effort into this thing.

So even with so many customers out there who completely undervalue the work, I hope it is encouraging to know that some of us (who consider ourselves reasonably intelligent  ;) ), often walk away feeling like we paid quite a good price.