I have been thinking this handmade-business a lot lately. It's been a hard yet very educational summer and autumn, and when I am tired or stressed, I start thinking (read: worrying) and guessing why? who? when? and back to why? and when I spend too much time wondering things on my own, even the smallest of things start to look massive. And bad. 
What I have been wondering a lot, is how to get more balance between work and life, the common problem with people who work from home and on their own, I suppose. It's hard to say no to requests (money is always needed) even you know it'll get too busy if you said yes. The other thing I have been wondering is the hard game of pricing. Huh, that's a tough one. You know what you would like to get out of your work, and at the same time, you know that it just gets the price too high. Tricky. But I read somewhere (I just cannot remember where but THANK YOU! whoever you were), that you shouldn't price the items on the level you (or your friends or your family) could afford, but on the level where you are satisfied, and you also earn some money. So wise! Even I am just a poor crafter, it doesn't mean that there wouldn't be people out there who are happy to spend some money on handmade-stuff they might not be able to make themselves (or just LOVE). So I just need to proudly ask enough (read:more)!
And still one more thing that I have been thinking lately: the craft shows. Mostly happy occasions, yes, and I am a bit disappointed, that this year will be yet an another one I'll be sitting out. My stuff (these cozies in this post included) were displayed a little craft-exhibition in Japan earlier in this autumn. Some were sold there, others were not, and the remaining stuff will be sold in a shop there. These were part of the busy-summer that I still feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes (and C-busy-times are just around the corner, blimey), and this was one of the big reasons the national (hah, I'm all international this year!) craft events didn't happen.
I had great plans last year around this time to get organized in January already, and be ready in time for those big fancy Christmas-fairs I visited (as guest) last year. Boo-ho, it just didn't happen. I know sweet Nova is preparing for one, and I think Sini has been busy too with her lovely felts - how do you guys do it?  I mean among the all other things? Please share, everyone who has been there, done that - both happy and not-so-happy stories of craft shows welcome!
Oh man, that's a lot of moaning blabbering, thank you so much for listening! I feel much happier now. It's not raining today either (hooray), so I think I'm going for a little walk, the colors of the nature are breath-taking. Wishing you a ...

Lovely Wednesday!


EDIT. It seems that I can't leave comments at the moment on all the blogs I would like to, I apologize to Beth and Teje at least, I tried several times but no success. I will try later again, but in the meanwhile: your posts have been read&enjoyed even my comments will not be there!


Teje Karjalainen said...

Hi Mia! Very good thoughts and familiar for many of us. You have been busy - All your sweet pouches are so adorable and look amazing all together! I had planned also to be ready for Christmas sales ... but I'm late again ... but still hoping. Enjoy your autum walks! x Teje

mynestofyarnandbuttons said...

Hi my sweet friend Mia,
Love your blog so much and I love you. You are so honest and talented. I know all the issues you mentioned are difficult to manage and balance. I do think we are all so hard on ourselves and push push push ourselves too much. I do well with a more structured day and make myself have me time, errand time etc. Helps a little. As far as pricing I have NO idea, I struggle with that myself, my husband says I give things away!
I don't have the answers but you are not alone my friend.
I hope your walk was enjoyable and refreshing,

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Hi Mia
Well I'm glad you got all that off your chest and are now ready for a lovely autumnal (dry!!) walk, just what the doctor ordered! :)
I have just come from Beth's (Linen Cat) blog and she too was talking about pricing. It's a very difficult subject, you want to make something for your time but you're afraid of pricing it too high and no one will then want to but it. I think it's a problem everyone has, I hope someone somewhere has an answer.
Anyhow you enjoy your walk and have a lovely Wednesday, relax and don't worry too much.
Vivienne x
P.S. Love the little reference to the Wet Wet Wet song. :) Loved them, don't like the wet though. ;)

Jane said...

Hi dear Mia...I really feel for you as your craft is your "proper" job and I so agree that you need a "proper" wage for it. I think that pricing is so difficult especially at the moment as the whole world (except for perhaps China) seems to be in recession and people have "tightened" their belts. My Hb like Robin's also tells me I "give" my work away but mine is a hobby and all I really want to cover are my costs. There has to be a balance and I'm not sure I can answer this for you. Too high and people will not buy, too low and you are working your fingers and toes for no real reward. It is good though to air all this as just talking about it always helps. I hope you enjoyed your walk my friend. Take care,
Jane x

Mia said...

Hello Teje,

Thank you for the fellow-crafters comment, it's always good to hear that I'm not the only one tackling these problems :)

Have a lovely October, and happy C-crafting!


Mia said...

Hi sweet Robin,

Thank you for your lovely comment! It's always so wonderful to read these kind comments! And I know, pricing really is a pain, and usually we end up putting lower price-tag on rather than higher...And we really shouldn't!

Happy and sunny autumn!


Mia said...

Hello dear Vivienne,

Thank you for your great comment! I also visited Beth (after your comment, but had difficulties commenting there for some reason!), and there it is again, the same struggle with the pricing... So it's not just me :)

Enjoy your October, I wish you many sunny and dry days!


Mia said...

Thank you Jane, for your wise comment! It's not easy to be a little independent crafter when there's the regression and china and all those big&bad things lurking around the corner (almost! But I think I just need to believe my handmades are something people want to buy and keep making them... That's what I really enjoy, after all!

I wish your days are full of dancing, October-sun and soon C-things plus a handsome purring cat to oversee everything :)


Anne said...

Hi Mia, These are things I think about, too. There's no magic answer. You are not alone!
You are making many things and I hope people appreciate your time and talent.

About craft shows---there's a lot of things involved--economy, "mood of the shoppers", etc.
You may just have to try one and see what you think.

Hoping you will have time for walks and some sunshine this week.


Mia said...

Thank you dear Anne! It's good to hear that others are thinking these same issues, it's not just me here :)

I wish you a lovely day!


Beth said...

Hello lovely Mia.

If you mean me (Beth) re comments - please do not worry, I would never, ever wonder and I often have periods where blogger wont let me comment :( so I know how that is.

I am in awe of your colourful and wonderful pouch photos, the exact kind of photo that spirals me into a frenzy of 'look what I made' happiness so I do hope you felt the same when you laid them all out - they look amazing.

I was looking at 'tweed purse' prices the other day on Etsy and some of your pouches came up and I thought -ewow that's too cheap - honestly, I really think you can afford to put your prices up, I really do.

I never do craft fairs. It eats too much into our family time, but I would do the 'big' ones (country living, london) if I could be that organised and make enough stock.

I hope you get your pricing into a place that you feel happy with, it's often a dilema for me as well.


Mia said...

Hello Beth,

It was YOU I meant :), I read your wonderful post about pricing and all and poured my heart out into a comment box and puff! I was all gone when I tried leave it! I tried three times (!!!) and nothing, same with Teje's blog. It's like that sometimes... Thank you so much for your wise words, I actually feel quite the same about the craft shows. It's just the big ones are really (really!!) expensive here and I would need laaarge stock (who would make that? any felting-fairies available?) to make money...Well, maybe next year?

Lovely, lovely weekend, dear friend!


Daška said...


kathy said...

Just do what you can.
Don't be worrying about how other people do it.

As for pricing - difficult. In Canbyland I can only get a small tidbit for what I make - nothing for labor and all materials thrifted. Yet in Portland (Our big city) I could ask three to four times as much $$$.
Etsy became my goal as I can ask for what I what/need and there is a huge audience of people who really appreciate the effort into making items.

I read about a blogger who recently moved to Oregon who had a famous family blog. It turned out she and her husband AND a team of four writers wrote that blog. Six people - not one.

Do what you can. Enjoy the ride.

kathy said...

---As far as craft shows go? Depends on where they are and how well promoted. I make more on Etsy.

My time is too valuable to be sitting behind a tiny table trying to sell to someone.

Mia said...

Hi Kathy,

Thank you so much for your wise words. I also rely on etsy, and as I live in fairly small city in middle of no-where :) internet is the only way to get my stuff seen&bought.

I wish you a busy last months of this year craft-wise, and sunny weekend soon too!


Angie S said...

Hi Mia,
Your thoughts are shared by many of us. Working most days, and creating at night and/or weekends, along with many other responsibilities makes it hard to find balance. I struggle with that too. I haven't done a craft sale for several years now, partly because I work most Saturdays, but also because of the amount of time it takes to do a craft sale.
Etsy is my main venue right now, and I'm happy with it.
Just gotta reduce my computer time now...

This time of the year...

Usually around this time, when children go back to school, and you can just about to smell the autumn, I start to dig deeper in my fabric...