Author Topic: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)  (Read 180194 times)

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Margo

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #75 on: June 25, 2013, 09:31:09 AM »
Barter is good if both parties are happy with it.

A friend of mine is currently knitting a fancy pair of socks on my behalf. (I can't knit, and have neck and shoulder problems which mean I physically ca't, as well as being totally cack-handed)

I have a bunch of friends I know on aanother forum, and I knew a lot of them knit, so I posted a link to the pattern and asked whether anyone would be willing to knit the socks for me, as a commission, with me buying the materials and paying for the knitters time.

A friend of mine responded, saying that she had a long-standing policy that she would not take money for knitting (partly because of the issue that if you charge a realistic hourly rate, you soon end up with $400 pairs of socks, and partly because for her, accepting payment turned it from being a relaxing activity she does at her own pace into a job where she feels she has to meet deadlines) She proposed that I buy a second kit (pattern and yarn) from the same supplier, for a different design of her choice, and she would take that in exchange for the knitting work in 'my socks'

And that's what we did. The socks are still a work in progress, and I think both of us are much relaxed about the fact they're taking a lot longer than we expected because it's not a question of buying her time. (The delay is due to other things happening in her life)

My mum quilts. She makes stuff for family, and will take requests (She's working on a quilt for me, where I got a say in the colours and pattern) but they're done on her time.

When my grandmother was ill, and she was spending a lot of time visiting, my mum made a lot of  baby quilts - they were given to the NICU in the hospital, and each baby there was given one (it was organised via a local patchwork group - there were rules about what materials could be used, to ensure that the quilts could be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before they went to the ward)  Another visitor to the hospital got very annoyed when my mum explained that even though she was making quilts for the premature babies in the NICU for free, she wouldn't make a full sized quilt for Random Stranger met in the hospital, for free....

It's not just crafts. I get asked for free advice a LOT. Because of my profession, I can also sign passport applications. This is not a small job. You have to actually know the person, you have to complete quite a lot of your personal information including your own passport details. I'm happy to do it for friends, but I have had neighbours I have never spoken to in my life knocking on my door and demanding that I sign their forms, and those of their children and partners and mothers.... and get cranky when I tell them no.

stitchygreyanonymouse

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #76 on: June 25, 2013, 09:51:00 AM »


Every once in a while, people will mention that they loved one of my baby quilts and would love for me to make one that they can gift to someone they know, but they’ve always taken "I prefer to just sew for fun when the mood strikes" at face value and never followed up.

My SO took a while to learn—he'll still ask me to make a "blanket" for a friend, but gives me a whole lot of lead time (and buys at least part of the supplies if they aren't in my stash already or all if it’s not a joint gift). The lead time only came after he asked me to make a quilt for his grandmother a week before Christmas. I finished it in time, but he didn't get to see me very much that week. :)

That first bolded section would just frost me.

That's just covetous. It's bad enough for them to ask for something from me, someone who actually knows them and cares about them.

But for them to "spend" my time and energy on behalf of someone who is not MY friend is just beyond the pale. Yeah, yeah, supposedly I'm doing for *them*, since they're the one who asked. But really they're just using me as a commodity for them to pay off their social debt.

I once made a cookbook for a friend's bridal shower, taking recipes from a defunct magazine I'd worked for and putting them into an index card booklet w/ a binder ring through one corner.

I added chapters on stuff like "the herbs and spices you need, and what to use them for" (those I wrote), and added notes to the recipes to tell more about how to make them, etc.

My MIL admired it and immediately said, "Maybe you could make one for Cousin You Barely Know, because her shower is coming up."  I said, "Do you know how much work that was? Donna is a really good friend of mine--that's why I made it for her."

I agree about the friends and acquaintances doing it, and would be very irked by your MIL in that case. When my SO does it, it’s more, "it would be nice if we could give mutual friend a quilt for their baby, or as a sort of all-encompassing thank you. Will it fit in to your projects before X?" which I don't mind, because usually I’ve been thinking about making that person one anyhow. And those gifts are always from *us*, not just him. But in that case, we've come to an agreement that it falls outside my hobby budget (aside from things from my stash that I don't mind using) so since I'm putting in the work, he puts in the money for material.

Why is basic sewing such a novelty to some people? I have basic skills like buttons and hems, and I can follow a Simplicity pattern. People act like I can spin gold when they find out.
It's part of our culture of learned helplessness.  "You have to be a professional to do X."  So Jane Q. Public, who of course is not a professional seamstress herself, stands in awe of our ability to sew on buttons.  And if, by that logic, we are "professionals" then of course we could make her niece's wedding gown out of that lovely hand-beaded silk that's $300 per yard.  But since we aren't the kind of professionals who actually make a living at sewing, we should be happy to do it for free. 

Substitute any of the other crafts here for 'sewing', of course, if it applies.

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!

unnalee

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #77 on: June 25, 2013, 10:05:57 AM »
I taught high school English for the better part of a decade.  My classes always had a major "school-to-work" component including cover letters, applications, resumes, etc.  I've been out of teaching for almost two years now, and I still have family members and Facebook friends sending me their application materials with the expectation that I'll drop everything to proofread and edit.  Usually they need this done RIGHT.NOW so it can be sent out tomorrow. 

I'll do it for my mom because she's been thrown into the job search arena after thinking she had job security for 28 years, and I don't want to see my parents lose their house.  But I'm not about to take up the few hours I have at home with my kids after work to help a second cousin apply for a part-time summer job.

There are online tutorials and tons of examples to be found on the Internet.  Or pay a service to help you.  I'm done.

SDG31000

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #78 on: June 25, 2013, 11:30:44 AM »
DH gets the computer repair requests aka "This isn't working.  Fix it NOW" Nearly all of which he gives into, but most people give him a bottle of wine or offer an exchange of services.

I get the baking demands.  Most people have no idea how much making a large cake from scratch costs, they think they can buy one at a supermarket for a few pounds and why wouldn't I want to make them a cake for nothing.  I made my sister's wedding cake that cost about £250 just for the ingredients.  DH nearly had a stroke when my mom asked when we were giving my sister and BIL their wedding present.  She thought it had cost about £50 to make.  I now refuse to make birthday cakes for anyone if asked, but I will give them as a present to friends and family.
Even a normal tray of brownies isn't cheap if I use my favourite recipe.  Good chocolate, the best cocoa powder and caramel add up especially as I make large batches.  I've lost count of the number of times I've been "volunteered" to bake for someone's party when I wasn't even invited and lots of times didn't know the person who was hosting.

Hillia

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #79 on: June 25, 2013, 11:39:08 AM »
The most asked for is my potato salad (my sister swears I must put crack in it because it is addictive!) . 

Would you consider posting the recipe in the Recipe Requests folder, or is it a Secret Weapon  :-) ?  I love potato salad but have never found a good recipe to  make my own.

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ladyknight1

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2013, 11:42:37 AM »
I need someone who quilts to barter with me for sugarcraft and jewelry.

snowflake

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2013, 12:18:09 PM »
I was also "voluntold" a lot when I was younger. It really hurt to see the miniature furniture that took me hours to make sold for 2-3 dollars at the church jumble sale. Same with the crocheted pot holders and scarves.  I now knit/crochet when I want to and on my timetable.

Can I steal "voluntold"?

I have jewelry-making supplies for the sole purpose of fixing my own jewelry if something gets bent or if I want to replace a link or a clasp.  Occasionally, someone finds out I have jewelry mending skills and asks if I want to try copying some complex beading pattern for them.  They say I should be able to do it because I have the ability to knit complex cables so surely I should know how to bead. 

No, crafting is not one, generalizable skill.

A friend of mine just told me about her experience.  Friend uses her cutting machine to make complex adhesive vinyl cut-outs for children's rooms.  She sells them on etsy for a decent profit.  Her SIL bought a house and spent $$$$$ decorating these perfect rooms for her two kids (6 and 8.)  She paid a ridiculous amount of money to get vinyl cut-outs from a swanky catalog.  Friend said, "You know, for that price you could have bought a cutting machine and some similar cartridges and cut them out yourself.  I'd do that instead because kids tend to pick at the vinyl and that way you can replace it."

What her SIL heard was, "I have a cutting machine and I will replace your kids' vinyl for free."  Of course the kids picked at the vinyl and it was in pieces before six months.  She now expects friend to purchase the adhesive vinyl, find some matching cartridges (note, friend said she could find similar patterns - not the exact same ones), and cut it all for free.  SIL does not understand why she should have to pay for this.  After all, she is offering friend an excuse to expand her cartridge library and letting her "get rid" of any vinyl she has lying around.

Friend is kicking herself.

Shalamar

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2013, 01:32:25 PM »
I'm pretty good at making chocolate-chip cookies - mine always turn out moist and chewy and delish (if I do say so myself).  They're probably my one real talent.    I have a friend who kept saying "My wife can't make cookies to save her life.  Will you teach her?"  Even though it was obvious that he was the one who wanted her to learn, not the wife herself, I reluctantly agreed to a teaching session.

Shortly after the lesson began, it became obvious why her cookies didn't turn out.  I asked her to measure a cup of flour.  She grabbed the first measuring cup she saw, which happened to be a 1/2 cup.  I said "Um, that'll do fine, but you'll need two of them."  "Why?"  "Because you need a full cup, and that's just a 1/2."  "Oh."  She then piled the 1/2 cup high with flour so that it was completely rounded.  "You'll need to level that off - there's too much."  "Oh!"

The cookies turned out fine, but apparently she hadn't learned a thing, because her husband called me soon after to say plaintively "She tried making cookies again, and they're terrible.  Can she come over for another lesson?"  I firmly said that I already had plans, and that was that.

z_squared82

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #83 on: June 25, 2013, 01:39:49 PM »
The only time I didn’t get out of it is when my mother “voluntold” me (volunteered me without asking me first) that I was going to take pictures at a charity event. I went along with it (b/c she told me the day before I didn’t want to leave the group in a bind like that), but told her never again.

I was also "voluntold" a lot when I was younger. It really hurt to see the miniature furniture that took me hours to make sold for 2-3 dollars at the church jumble sale. Same with the crocheted pot holders and scarves.  I now knit/crochet when I want to and on my timetable.

Can I steal "voluntold"?


You should totally steal the voluntold.  I find it incredibly useful.

I first heard it a few years ago when I was training at Major American Airline in their reservations department. Our instructor would want someone to come to the front for something or other, asking for volunteers. If no one volunteered, she’d say, “You! Come on up, you’ve just been voluntold.”

I almost miss that job.

z_squared82

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #84 on: June 25, 2013, 01:41:07 PM »
I need someone who quilts to barter with me for sugarcraft and jewelry.

What kind of quilt are you looking for and what kind of sugar craft do you do?

Outdoor Girl

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #85 on: June 25, 2013, 01:42:09 PM »
The cookies turned out fine, but apparently she hadn't learned a thing, because her husband called me soon after to say plaintively "She tried making cookies again, and they're terrible.  Can she come over for another lesson?"  I firmly said that I already had plans, and that was that.
I would have told him he was welcome to come over and I'd teach HIM how to make them.

When my Mom died, my Dad decided he wanted to make some cookies for Christmas trays.  So he came down to my place and I showed him how to do it.  He measures everything he needs out into little containers before hand and then starts mixing it all together.  One of the cookies he makes, I also make but a friend prefers his.   >:(   ;D
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
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misha412

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #86 on: June 25, 2013, 02:09:05 PM »
Well, this is more of a hobby than a craft. I am a family historian. I have done it for hire before, but tend to do it for pleasure mostly.

For some reason, when people hear I do family history, they seem to think I would naturally want to do their family tree for free. Since I love it so much...right?

I had a young co-worker who came up and asked me to do a family history for her father as a birthday gift. It was about 10 days before the birthday. I explained that it was not possible to do a reasonable family history in 10 days or less. I also explained my going rate was $40 an hour.

She was completely flummoxed. According to her, all I needed to do, apparently, was to go on Ancestry.com and just plug in his name. The rest would be done by the website. Ummm, no. You can get a good amount of information on Ancestry if you know what to look at. But, to make sure the history is complete and connects the right people, you need to pull original records and double check everything. I have an extensive family history I have documented for many branches of my family. Even with easy to access computer records, it has taken me over two decades to put things together and I am still working on it.

Co-worker decided I was being completely unreasonable, especially about wanting to charge her to do it.

She got a cousin of hers to do it for her. Just after New Year's she comes up to me and shows me the family history her cousin put together. It was a mishmash of information pulled from Ancestry. An example that caught my eye pretty quickly was one set of dad's grandparents. The husband of this couple was born around 1860 and died about 1920. His wife was not born until 1910 and died in the 1980s. The only child of this couple, a son, was not born until the late 1930s. So the father had been dead over 15 years when the son was born.  :o

I just smiled and handed the pile of paper back to her. My thoughts, that went unsaid, is that you get what you pay for.

whatsanenigma

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #87 on: June 25, 2013, 02:13:58 PM »
She was completely flummoxed. According to her, all I needed to do, apparently, was to go on Ancestry.com and just plug in his name. The rest would be done by the website. Ummm, no.

This kind of thing is what baffles me the most about some of these demands, be they for a family tree or a quilt or a batch of cookies or a website or  whatever.

Somebody asks you to do a thing.  You give them a time frame and price.  They freak out because it's not that time consuming or expensive, in their opinion.  "It's so easy" so why should you charge so much and take so long?

And that, of course, begs the question: If it's "so easy" why don't you do it yourself?  Why did you ask me at all?

I don't know why people don't think this  one through before they ask.

Browyn

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #88 on: June 25, 2013, 02:18:24 PM »
Why is basic sewing such a novelty to some people? I have basic skills like buttons and hems, and I can follow a Simplicity pattern. People act like I can spin gold when they find out.
It's part of our culture of learned helplessness.  "You have to be a professional to do X."  So Jane Q. Public, who of course is not a professional seamstress herself, stands in awe of our ability to sew on buttons.  And if, by that logic, we are "professionals" then of course we could make her niece's wedding gown out of that lovely hand-beaded silk that's $300 per yard.  But since we aren't the kind of professionals who actually make a living at sewing, we should be happy to do it for free. 

Substitute any of the other crafts here for 'sewing', of course, if it applies.

I have been sewing since I was six (I had Grandma's old machine in my bedroom) and I am 48 now.  I do renaissance faire costumes for myself and my DH and DS (he's 8).  Its a hobby and its fun, I also can alter/hem my own clothes.  There is also a small group of close friends for whom I will make costumes for their children.  But these are people who I love and who wouldn't hesitate to help me when I need it.*

I make baby size quilts and will make one just because I find a fabric I like so when someone we know has a baby I have plenty of ready made presents.

If someone I hardly knew demanded I make them a gift?  I don't think so ;-)

(*We were moving, I was 5 months pregnant, my Mother had just died and I was completely overwhelmed.  They just showed up on a Saturday and packed up the apartment for me.  How awesome is that!)
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 02:25:07 PM by Browyn »

magician5

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #89 on: June 25, 2013, 02:24:05 PM »
Even a normal tray of brownies isn't cheap if I use my favourite recipe.  Good chocolate, the best cocoa powder and caramel add up especially as I make large batches.  I've lost count of the number of times I've been "volunteered" to bake for someone's party when I wasn't even invited and lots of times didn't know the person who was hosting.

Brownies - excellent idea!

Send them to:

Magician Five
123 Main Street
Anytown, USA 56789

I'll be sure to say "thank you." You didn't want me to pay you for them, did you?
« Last Edit: June 25, 2013, 02:26:22 PM by magician5 »
There is no 'way to peace.' Peace is the way.