Saturday, December 20, 2008


I've been a touch frustrated lately. I fully understand how everyone has less descretionary funds. I just wish I could make a few more sales in the online store.

No good deed goes unpunished. One year ago, I bought out a friend to help her retire. While I was wanting to have an online shop, I had (and still have) very definite ideas of what I want to carry. Unfortunately, most of what I bought does not fit the bill. It is very nice yarn. It does not work for reenacting or recreating historical clothing. I have a lot of Crystal Palace fizz, glam, deco and Debbie Bliss yarns, along with Ironstone's Desert nights and Paris nights, there is mohair, rayon, and ribbon yarns. None of it is in large quantities. There is likely enough of most items to make a single project. In a fit of inspiration, I did package some of these items to sell off at one price.

The economy being what it is, not too many people are purchasing odd lots of yarn. Maybe I could request a bail out? Or, do you think the tax man would accept yarn instead of cash?


In other news, I discovered I am allergic to mohair. Not a mild, oh it itches allergy. I break out in hives if I touch the stuff. Irony = owning a yarn shop and being allergic to one third of what you have in stock.

yellow windmill
I have been working on these wash clothes this week. I have a stack of five completed. Just four more to go before the holiday. I know that sounds odd or cheap, but that's the stocking stuffer this year. Everyone gets a fancy new dishcloth. It's the thought that counts.


Upcoming events:
Visit MGA/Two Dogs Yarn Shop at these upcoming SCA events:
Regular Event in Cleftlands 24 Jan
Better War through Archery 7 Feb.
Gulf Wars in Gleann Abhain 15 - 21 March
Three Saints at Rivenstar 11 April
Midrealm Coronation 2 & 3 May
Baron Wars in Red Spears 8 - 10 May
Midrealm Crown Tourney 23 24 May


shameless exploitation of my pets:
I plan on having more of my photos available there in the future. Look for flowers, knitting related shirts and other goodies after New Year.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Boar's Head

We took a little trip north this last weekend. It started off on Friday night with a four hour drive to the suburbs of Chicago and spending the night at a friend's house. Best thing about visiting with friends is the muffins. All the ginger bread or cranberry orange muffins we could eat for breakfast. Ok, so I am not a total hog. I confess to taste testing one on Friday night then having two at breakfast Saturday morning.

We were up way too early on Saturday and in the truck heading north of Milwaukee for the event. I got to see the sun rise. Not my idea of a good time, but a serious application of coffee improved my mood. Once we arrived at the site, hubby and one of his friends unloaded the truck and trailer while the pooch and I began to set up.

This was an indoor event and not dog friendly, so only the assistance/service dog got to travel with us this weekend. She sprawled under the table for the most part, with a touch of shivering when someone held an outer door open for too long. Our booth was right inside the room the event was held in so the breezes from the atrium were a bit much for me. I snuggled with the dog when that outer door was held open.

After the event, we had a two hour drive to our friend's house that was longer than usual due to the winds. There was a bit of rain, but the wind was bad. We managed to have a nice long visit, got to sleep in on Sunday and went out for brunch Sunday morning. After brunch, we had more visiting and a long drive home. The winds were still blowing hard on Sunday.

Have I mentioned it's good to be home?

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thoughts on Crafting and Commissions

I've had a few folks ask about what I charge to make things recently.

One of the people that asked was serious about giving me a commission to do. I appreciate this, and have completed that particular project. Some one randomly left a comment on a different journal entry in the few weeks asking what I would charge to make something. This person did not respond to my reply which makes me think they either were not serious or decided I was over charging for my time.

I got to thinking and decided to share these thoughts with others.

ONE: The domestic arts are called arts for a reason. Things many people view as "quaint" or "trite" or a "hobby" are in actuality a means of expression for the person crafting that item. While many artists work in oil or sculpt, others work in silk and linen or knit, crochet, quilt or even *gasp* make preserves.

TWO: When requesting an item be made, please keep in mind the item will not only require materials to make it, it will also require time and effort. There might even be a bit of blood, sweat and tears involved in the process. There is a reason a hand knit pair of socks will start out at $30 for basic, plain socks. Likewise, even a simple dish cloth will take time to make. Minimum wage in the United States is: $6.55 an hour. Trust me, very few handcrafted items take less than one hour to make.

THREE: Giving someone materials as a present is nice. Gifting them with the raw materials for their preferred craft and saying "Now you can make something for me." is more than a bit rude. How would you feel if you were given a present and told how to use it and when to give it back? (no, this has not happened to me, I know someone this happened to.)

FOUR: If a person says no they cannot recreate an item, they are not jerking you around. They honestly mean they cannot make what you are asking for. Hinting they whip something up over night and ship it out ASAP is rude Remember crafts people have families and this is a busy time of year for them. Also keep in mind their supplies cost funds they just might NOT have.

Finally, fiber arts and allergies. People have sensitivities to fur, fiber, dander, lanolin and other things. As a crafts person, it is the maker's responsibility to stay within set boundaries when you make something for sale. Should a request state "NO wool, no alpaca, no animal fiber" for whatever reason, please show respect and consideration for the people you are working for.
Yes, that is right, when a crafts person/artist takes on a commission, they are working for the person who is paying them. Take the time to discuss parameters and make sure both parties are clear on what is and is not expected.

This guide is not pointed to any one in particular. These are just thoughts that kept me awake the other night.