Author Topic: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)  (Read 222248 times)

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poundcake

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #120 on: June 26, 2013, 07:29:03 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, 07:31:09 AM by poundcake »

z_squared82

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #121 on: June 26, 2013, 09:32:21 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.

Dearsweetgodyesplease.

And I don't even particularly care for chocolate!

z_squared82

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #122 on: June 26, 2013, 10:21:41 AM »
I can't tell you how many times I've heard second or third hand "Cousin / sister / aunt would like you to send your information about the TeamBhakta family tree. Email it when you get a chance." Never mind that each grandparent's side of the family is divided into big thick binders with pages and pages of photos and info. Let me just scan it all for you right now. I have several hours free, right ? ::)

You know, if you've got a lot of source material in hard copy, it might be a good idea to scan (or take good high-res pictures of) all of it, so you can keep a backup offsite. Spending fifteen minutes a day or an hour a week (or whatever you can spare) would break it down into a manageable series of tasks, and might save your bacon at some point down the road.
 
Emailing it would be insane, of course, but once you have it in electronic format, Cousin/Sister/Aunt can provide you with enough usb drives to save all the materials, plus whatever fee you charge for file transfer/file storage/research, and pay for you to ship the drives out to him/her/it.

I just flat out won't send it to anyone. I bring my binders along when I'm visiting family out of town. They're welcome to take it to the copy shop themselves or try to scan it themselves (provided they aren't likely to lose parts of it). It's a sore subject for me, partly because both of my sisters have burned me.

There wouldn't happen to be a good example on the internet of how you set up your family history, would there?

Both of my maternal grandparents died in the past year, so the siblings (my mother, her five brothers and one sister) have been going through the contents of the house. Including lots of old family pictures.

Evidently there was a suggestion to nominate a family historian to scan and catalog everything (and probably make a family tree while they’re at it). As the sole history and journalism major, who also has a nice camera, scanner and Adobe PhotoShop and InDesign, I have a feeling I’m going to be voluntold. And sure, I could say no, but I have a feeling if I don't do it, it'll be done poorly.

alkira6

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #123 on: June 26, 2013, 11:13:28 AM »
Quote

There wouldn't happen to be a good example on the internet of how you set up your family history, would there?

Both of my maternal grandparents died in the past year, so the siblings (my mother, her five brothers and one sister) have been going through the contents of the house. Including lots of old family pictures.

Evidently there was a suggestion to nominate a family historian to scan and catalog everything (and probably make a family tree while they’re at it). As the sole history and journalism major, who also has a nice camera, scanner and Adobe PhotoShop and InDesign, I have a feeling I’m going to be voluntold. And sure, I could say no, but I have a feeling if I don't do it, it'll be done poorly.

If you want to do it to control quality, take the project and do it on your own time. Feel free to tell others who ask about it that it is being done when you have the time.

Miss Misery

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #124 on: June 26, 2013, 11:13:51 AM »
Don't even get me started on how many people seem to think I should be falling over myself to spend hours and hours drawing their husband/wife/cat/dog/monkey/house plant/3rd cousin twice removed for nothing in return.

It always makes me wonder if they call the plumber to unclog the kitchen sink and say "I can't pay you, but I'll tell everyone you're great!" ::)

« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 11:26:40 AM by Miss Misery »

z_squared82

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #125 on: June 26, 2013, 11:24:19 AM »
Quote

There wouldn't happen to be a good example on the internet of how you set up your family history, would there?

Both of my maternal grandparents died in the past year, so the siblings (my mother, her five brothers and one sister) have been going through the contents of the house. Including lots of old family pictures.

Evidently there was a suggestion to nominate a family historian to scan and catalog everything (and probably make a family tree while they’re at it). As the sole history and journalism major, who also has a nice camera, scanner and Adobe PhotoShop and InDesign, I have a feeling I’m going to be voluntold. And sure, I could say no, but I have a feeling if I don't do it, it'll be done poorly.

If you want to do it to control quality, take the project and do it on your own time. Feel free to tell others who ask about it that it is being done when you have the time.

Yeah, that was my thought. That and, "I can do it, but you are all going to help." Things like, calling up The Greats (great aunts and uncles) to get info and photos.

snowflake

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #126 on: June 26, 2013, 11:38:34 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!"

I suppose this is like being a social worker.  I constantly was asked if I could diagnose someone's nephew's friend for autism based on a few second-hand anecdotes.  Oh, and could I give them a quick magic cure.  I would always say, "No, sorry I'm not credentialed for that."  Though on second thought, I really wouldn't do it if I was.

MommyPenguin

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #127 on: June 26, 2013, 12:07:43 PM »
Wow, Miss Misery, are those samples of your work?  They're amazing!!!

I dabble.  Which means that I knit, cross-stitch, decorate cakes, bake, craft, do web design, etc.  I haven't gotten *too* much of a request for free stuff, but it depends.  I did have a coworker ask me to make Christmas stockings for her kids, after I'd been making them for my family.  She asked me what I'd want for them.  That's a *really* hard question for a knitter!  Because, even though these stockings use the cheapest of cheap yarn, so supplies aren't too expensive, there are hours and hours and hours of work involved.  But actually charging a decent hourly wage would make them ridiculously expensive.  I asked her for $50 a stocking, which is about the most money that I thought would seem reasonable, and yet with probably $10 of yarn and 30 hours of knitting, plus a few extra hours in design work as she wanted custom pictures on them (guessing, I didn't count hours)...  But she was my best friend at work and while I'm not sure I would have been willing to spend that much time to do it for free, the money took the edge off.

In general, though, I think dabbling is really the key.  It keeps you from being *so* skilled in any one hobby that everybody wants your stuff.  :P

Oh, and to the PP who talked about the hours and hours she spent knitting stuff that just wasn't any good before she got to the point where she could knit well... is it pathetic that my first thought there was that that was exactly my experience with learning to play StarCraft (a computer game) in college?  :)

lilfox

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #128 on: June 26, 2013, 12:16:05 PM »
Like MommyPenguin, I love crafting but I never spend long enough on any one thing to get a reputation for it.  Usually I have one thing that works out per craft, which is rewarding for me but also something I can point to and say "this was a wonderful fluke" rather than "this is truly representative of my talent.". My mom occasionally encourages me to knit more, paint more, whatever, based on the fluke. And i appreciate that, for sure.  Fortunately she's never voluntold me for anything, and any compliments I get don't go further into "can I have one too?"

The thing is, I don't have a lot of natural talent or creativity, but I work with what I have.  It's fun, but it's also frustrating always being on the learning curve and it takes time and effort to come up with even one finished product that's not a disappointment to me.  So what bothers me is when people gush about how creative or crafty I am (solely based on the fact that I've tried a wide range of crafts) and either set me on a pedestal or use to illustrate how uncrafty they are.  ultimately the thing that sets me apart is being willing to try something hard just because and then keep at it long enough to succeed at least once, not having magic innate powers.  I used to deflect with "oh you could learn this too" or similar, but that's not what most people want to hear, so now I leave it at "thank you."

VorFemme

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #129 on: June 26, 2013, 12:28:49 PM »
There are a few people in this world that I make exceptions for (we all probably have them) - Mom (who gave me my first cooking & sewing lessons - then got me into 4-H so I could get MORE lessons...from someone else); VorGuy (he wears what I sew him and has made sure that I have an embroidery machine, the software upgrade for it, the supplies to learn how to use it, and when I take four-to-six days to embroider fifty or sixty or so polo shirts for him & his class, is also in charge of getting together supper those nights - or pays for take out); VorSon (although a couple of his projects are Unfinished Objects due to my schedule conflicts - like the "six months of rest" prescribed by a doctor a few years ago that an injury turned into "not rested enough yet"): Ambrosia Hino (aka DD) & her husband; and of course the DGS! 

But random strangers or even coworkers (back when I did have a job outside the home)?  Not usually high enough on the hierarchy unless they've PAID to be added. 

I got paid $20 ONCE to redo a tapestry pillow - when she saw the finished project, I got paid $25 (recut it to make it look more "square" when stuffed instead of cut square & going four pointed star shaped as it got stuffed, washed it, serged the cut edges to keep them from raveling out, and cut the new back from a remnant of her upholstery fabric so it "matched" her couch).  She'd been an interior designer and appreciated the work it took to get "the right look" even if she couldn't do it herself. 
Let sleeping dragons be.......morning breath......need I say more?

ladyknight1

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #130 on: June 26, 2013, 12:49:18 PM »
One of my dearest friends also makes jewelry, but her interests are completely different than mine. She can't do the beadweaving I do, and I can't do the wire work she does. It works out well, as we swap gifts at Christmas/Yule and our birthdays.

LadyJaneinMD

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #131 on: June 26, 2013, 01:04:11 PM »
My husband home-cures and smokes bacon. He has a custom spice blend he uses for the cure. We share, but this is a week long process and many hours of work!

ladyknight, Would you and your husband like to be my new best friends?

Will sew for bacon.   ;D
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 01:10:43 PM by LadyJaneinMD »

Miss Misery

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #132 on: June 26, 2013, 01:05:56 PM »
Wow, Miss Misery, are those samples of your work?  They're amazing!!!

Yup those are mine.  ;D


LadyJaneinMD

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #133 on: June 26, 2013, 01:27:34 PM »
I don't know why I forgot about this, probably because I blocked it out.

Years ago, when I was in my 20s, healthy and hearty and young, my sister tried to talk me into HAVING A BABY for a young couple in her church, who couldn't have children of their own.
[for the record, we come from excellent baby-making stock]
I had no objections to that part of it, but I wanted money for it, for the doctor's bills, and for the 'rental' of my body for nine months!  (I was dirt poor at the time and struggling)  She thought I was horrible and should do it for free. 

Why didn't she do it?  She was still a minor. 

Yeah. That didn't happen.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 01:32:21 PM by LadyJaneinMD »

alkira6

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Re: But ... But ... It's Not Like It's Work! (Craft Freebies)
« Reply #134 on: June 26, 2013, 01:45:30 PM »
I don't know why I forgot about this, probably because I blocked it out.

Years ago, when I was in my 20s, healthy and hearty and young, my sister tried to talk me into HAVING A BABY for a young couple in her church, who couldn't have children of their own.
[for the record, we come from excellent baby-making stock]
I had no objections to that part of it, but I wanted money for it, for the doctor's bills, and for the 'rental' of my body for nine months!  (I was dirt poor at the time and struggling)  She thought I was horrible and should do it for free. 

Why didn't she do it?  She was still a minor. 

Yeah. That didn't happen.

You win.