“You Made That? Gosh, How Clever!”

There is something terribly clever about crafting. I know this to be true because of the number of comments over the years which go along the lines of “You made this? Gosh, you are clever!” when told that whatever is being admired was handmade.

Certainly there is a skill with most handicrafts, I’m not for one instant suggesting that there isn’t, but when the sewing on of a button is met with the same sort of admiration, it does make one wonder…

To be honest, I think the cleverest thing about crafting is in the creation and establishment of a craft-based business, especially when it comes to dealing with the taxman! The other clever thing is in not letting the fact that now your hobby, which you enjoy, is your life and you will probably occasionally hate it, stop you from continuing.

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Sometimes I wonder about setting up a chocolate shop. I like chocolate; people say I make pretty good truffles, which I enjoy making. But I’m not sure if I’d want to spend all my time making them. Mind you, a thought occurs to me: Roly’s Fudge, which I realise probably means little to those of you who haven’t been to Taunton or Barnstaple.

Roly’s make fudge in the shop and they change their menu daily, I presume on the basis either of ingredients available or mood of the makers.

Although the idea I had recently for my ideal chocolate shop is a moving one on a canal boat. Not wholly my idea, there’s a floating chocolate shop which turns up in Stockholm at Easter-time. But again, would I want to spend all my time making chocolates?

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What’s the cleverest thing about crafting for you?

The Ideas of March

This week is turning into being a not-obviously-productive week, but one with a lot of promise.

Job-security not being what it was (although, let’s face it, I wasn’t planning on standing around selling cards for the rest of my life), I am being forced to face the future, in an even ruder and scarier way than I had to upon leaving the safety of education. Not that I’m currently unemployed, but that it seems wise to make plans.

Pooh's Thinking Cushion

Pooh’s Thinking Cushion

It’s one of those funny old things, in that I don’t like working in retail but currently I’m toying with the idea of a small craft-business. Apparently I feel that working in Retail is somehow different if I’m self-employed. I’m still not a natural sales-person, and probably still wouldn’t care all that much about targets – which probably isn’t a good sign. Perhaps it’s the idea I have, of being able to sit around all day sewing (with or without a TV series on in the background). It’s not like I’d be having a bricks-and-mortar shop – an internet one is far more to my liking, with the occasional trip to the Post Office. Maybe the odd craft fair.

I expect there’s far more too it, though, and somewhat less of the sitting around and sewing than I might like. But we’ll see. At the moment I’m just thinking and planning, fired up with the enthusiasm of someone who hasn’t thought about all the boring admin side of it. And who doesn’t yet have to do anything about it. It might never happen. I’m a very thinky, dreamery sort of a person. I like planning things. Doing them, not as much.

But I do very much like the idea of being self-employed. I could cope with making the pittance I currently earn if I was doing so working on my own projects. And if I didn’t have to deal directly with the Public or with Head Office morons.

I need a little longer to contemplate this and really fine-tune the plans though. You know, identify Target Markets etc. I do¬† hate that phrase. Like being asked who you write for. Well, me, and people like me, is the answer. And I don’t know how to classify me, other than a youngish, vaguely intelligent, vaguely creative sort of a person. (The other description is the less flattering “vague, wishy-washy person who hasn’t a clue”.)

So we’ll see how the plans turn out and whether anything further comes of them!