Busy, but happy

If you’d told me a couple of years ago that one day I’d be rushing home each night excited to try out my latest idea for a handmade greeting card I would probably have laughed at you. I was never the artistic one in my family – that role being reserved for my sister, who was well on her way to an excellent grade for A-Level art until she decided to drop out of sixth form. I, on the other hand, dropped art as soon as I was allowed – much to the relief of my long-suffering teacher. Stick men are the extent of my drawing skills! So it’s somewhat surprising to me that not only do I enjoying making my own greeting cards but, actually, I’m not all that bad it. At least I’ve had no complete disasters so far, and I’ve even managed one or two that I’m actually proud of.  Who could ever have imagined that this crafting business might actually be fun? I’ve even started branching out into jewellery! Not that I’ve done much with that yet.  So far I’ve only managed to make a couple of pairs of earrings and I’m currently waiting for more equipment to arrive, but once it does I shall get down to the jewellery making in earnest! I could seriously imagine dedicating a large part of my life to this making stuff for charity lark! The only problem is, I am now physically incapable of passing the stationary shops without popping in to look at the pretty paper. And of course I can never resist taking a couple of sheets with me. Then there’s the shop that sells the beads. And, of course, DaWanda, which is pretty much the German version of Etsy. Lots of materials there for both card making and jewellery making. And I can pay via PayPal, which is quite frankly dangerous! I really must start restraining myself, otherwise I’ll be finding myself completely broke before even one bill has been paid from my wages each month. Ooops!

We’re off to England for a long weekend tomorrow (my cousin is getting married), so my creativity shall have to be put on hold for a couple of days, but once I return I’ll be getting straight back into it. In between arranging my FSID tea party of course. So much to do! But when it’s all stuff I enjoy I really don’t mind not having a spare moment (my poor flat might disagree though, if it could talk! If my grandma could see my kitchen floor she’d have a fit!)

For a good cause…

I wanted to show you some of the results of the project I was telling you about in my last post, but the computer is refusing to upload photos from my camera so I shall just have to tell you instead…

After getting a few cross stitch designs onto paper, I decided it was about time to start getting a few of them onto fabric to find out whether what I’d been imagining could even work. There’s a world of difference between a few symbols on squared paper and an actual cross-stitched product! So I got some of the leftover Aida from a previous project, dug out some of the threads I no longer needed and gave it a whirl. And… success! I managed to produce a toadstool that actually looked like a toadstool! A few days before that an online friend had mentioned that she was running an auction in aid of the Shaken Baby Syndrome SUpport Network and was looking for people who made things and would be wiling to donate something for the auction. I decided this was an excellent first step on the road to my long-term goal (more on that later) and started stitching like crazy, managing to produce a bookmark, a birthday card and three gift tags, all in just over a week. Not bad for someone who works full time! The auction is on next Tuesday, so I guess then I’ll find out whether anyone is actually willing to buy my creations and whether it’s worth persuing my other idea. Which brings me back to long-term goals…

Back when I started toying with the idea of maybe designing my own cross stitch patterns, the vague idea of possibly selling them at some point also crossed my mind. At the time I dismissed it, but once I had actually started putting the designs on paper, the idea returned. What if, I thought, I created a shop on DaWanda (the German version of Etsy, for those who are wondering), sold some self-designed and hand-made cross stitched products and gave all the money to charity? Finally a hobby that might actually lead to something meaningful! Sounds good, no? Currently, though, I’m not actually sure whether I will ever be able to put my idea into practice. German law says that if I make things with the intention of selling them I am running a business, and have to register myself as such. What nobody seems to know is whether this is still the case if I don’t even want the money I’ll be earning from selling my stuff. My plan is to give every single penny to charity. No earning back the costs of material then giving the rest to charity. 100% of the selling price would go to whichever organisation I wanted to help at the time (the plan also involves switching charities once in a while to help as many people as possible). So for now I’m still researching and reading and asking questions and, of course, waiting to find out whether anyone even wants the items I’ve donated for the aforementioned auction. And in the meantime I shall continue to draw (badly) and design and stitch, so that if my shop ever does come into being I will actually have something to sell in it. Stay tuned…

Oh, and the auction that I have possible donated my creations to (if they actually manage to arrive on time) has a Facebook page here which you all need to go and look at and bid on stuff. It’s for a good cause you know…