For the Love of it

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slipper pattern by Mamachee http://www.mamachee.etsy.com

I don't know about you, but I'm the type of person who doesn't always take the advice of even those who are older and wiser (that's you, Mom).

 It's not that I don't listen to, register, and even consider the advice, but it's as if I have to try something for myself before I'm ready to fully admit that it was in fact good advice.  Going into whatever activity I may have been advised against, I'm usually aware that it's a bad idea, but I figure it's just another experience I'll have had, and I like to "learn" from my own mistakes. 

This lovely quality of mine has come into play with my crafting more than a few times.  I would say the first time I was really aware of this was when I received a custom order through Etsy for 7 (different colored) pairs of crochet slippers on a really busy weekend when I was trying to finish up my own Christmas gifts for relatives and friends, many of which were also slippers.  I basically made slippers all weekend, postponed doing laundry, and stayed up late on work nights to get it all done in time.  I did finish everything, but I was also transformed into a moody crafter who absolutely did not want to make another damn slipper! Clearly, having an Etsy store, specifically one where I was committed to producing timely custom orders, was not a good fit for me, with my 50 hour work week and 45 minute commute each way.  Why on earth would I want to take one of my favorite things (knitting/crocheting) and turn it into a source of stress and frustration?  I don't. 

Since then, I've stopped taking custom orders, and everything is fine and dandy.

My second example has to do with vending at craft and flea markets. This seemed like a fun thing I should try, and I'll admit that it was.  It was also, frankly, a huge pain in my similarly huge behind. My good friend Alyce has been selling at craft fairs for years and she seems to be made for it. Her calm, friendly disposition and positive outlook seem to draw people in and she appears to really enjoy herself.  I, on the other hand, can't stop checking the time...

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Thanks to my friend Alyce for this photo!

I even attempted to sell at an outdoor flea market.  Now picture this:  I do not have a car, so I've filled up my "granny cart" to the brim with all my merchandise, display shelves, and a folding chair.  I go to get on the bus (which will take me to the subway) just to be told that I can only get on if I can empty and collapse my cart... not happening.  The next bus driver cut me some slack and let me on.  I arrive at the subway stop, which has an elevator.  I had planned for this by choosing a route that involved handicapped accessible subway stations.  On my way down the elevator, an MTA employee informs me that the station I was planning to get off at is under construction for the weekend.  I end up taking the subway to a different station, one that is not handicapped accessible, and I have to carry/drag the cart up the stairs and take a hike to the venue.  I arrive at the venue, sweaty and pink-faced, and set up my station.  About an hour in, everything, and I literally mean everything, gets blown around and on the ground by some huge gusts of wind.  Some vendors had their tents actually break.  It was a hazardous mess.  I picked my merchandise up off the ground, where it was covered in pieces of straw from the pumpkin patch, packed my granny cart, and hit the road.  That was it for me.

I will continue to support craft fairs and flea markets all around, but I will not be vending anytime soon.

From now on, when I knit, crochet, dye, or whatever, it'll be for the love of it.

P.S. You were right, Mom.