Why Price Your Hand Made Craft Items As You Do

I know that my pricing model looks a little off, well that is because I am a little off.  I want to make money from my craft, but I feel that it is more important that someone who wants to purchase something be able to afford that item.  I live on a fixed income and a lot of these items have been made because I could not leave my home due to my disability and I needed something to keep busy with.

I recently ran into a financial issue due to the lack of mail delivery because of a misunderstanding between me and the United States Post office just down the street from where I live, and am not able to provide my grandchildren with Christmas gifts that I have either bought or made because I will not have enough money to get through the month.  This made me think about all those out there who may have a financial issue of their own going on and won’t be able to provide a small gift or two to their families because of a lack of funds.

I decided that I needed to lower some of my prices so that others who have financial issues, a lot of gifts to purchase over the year could possibly afford to purchase from my site.  I would like to be able to just give the items away, and would if I knew the person truly needed that kind of service.  I am willing to work with anyone who may want to purchase something from me but does not have the full price.  I know this sounds crazy but the thought of a smile on someone’s face because they received a trinket made by me is far more valuable than the few coppers I may be able to put in my pocket.

The cost of everything has gotten out of control and I would rather bargain, lower the price or give it to my customer than have it sitting around collecting dust and taking up room in my very small apartment.  With Christmas just around the corner, this is my gift to anyone who would like to purchase something.  So if you see something on my site you would like to purchase, but think the price may be unreasonable or wish you could purchase shoot me an email at craftingmontana@gmail.com, with the subject line reading Lets Negotiate and I will be more than happy to work with you.

Keep watching as I will be adding more items to the library.  I realize some of the pictures are not very good but I am still learning how to take those pictures, edit them, and post them to my store.  I am open to any and all suggestions on how to make this site better and what it is you would like to see here.  So remember, practice, practice, practice and you too will become a master of whatever it is you are trying to achieve.


Keep on Crafting Montana!

Where Did Polymer Clay Come From

Polymer clay was first created in the late 1930s by a German dollmaker, Fifi Rehbinder.  She sold the formula in 1964 to Eberhard Faber who tweaked it and renamed it from Fifi Mosaik to the Fimo brand and sold it to toy stores throughout Europe. It did not reach the United States until the 1970s though various forms of Polymer clay had been created in the U.S. earlier, but its popularity as a craft or art medium did not come about until the 1990s.  There are currently ten different brands on the market today.

The clay is not meant to be eaten, nor should you eat off of it.  You may want to keep an eye on the little ones who will be sculpting with you.  It emits a toxic fume when burnt so keep your temperature low when curing the clay, and a close see on it.  Some crafters will dedicate a toaster oven just for baking clay.  I bake it in the same oven I cook with.  When I have finished baking the clay for the day I clean my oven with the self-cleaning mode, or by using the spray cleaner meant for ovens before cooking any food in the oven.

You may choose to work the clay with cheap latex or vinyl gloves, or yu can wash your hands throughly after you have finished crafting and before eating.  Make sure not to snack on finger foods while working with the clay as small amounts of chemicals will be on your fingers and you will ingest them as they transfer to the food.  It is also suggested that you not eat off of the polymer clay items or store food in them.  It is best suited for decorative items that will not be placed in the mouth. Dedicate tools specifically for use with the clay so that contaminants are not transferred onto items used for food preparation or eating utensils.  Many crafters have used Pasta machines to help roll the clay thin enough to use in the layering process to make canes.

It’s A Free Pattern, What Do You Mean I Can’t Sell The Item?

That cool little shrug pattern you downloaded three months ago sure sold hot at the Farmer’s Market this winter.  You got the pattern from some where of the world wide web for free.  You slaved long and hard over those 32 knitted shrugs in 32 different colors and 16 different patterns.  But did you read the whole pattern before you printed it off that neat little web site or from your favorite yarn brand’s website’s Privacy Policy, Terms and Conditional Use of Site?

Well, if you haven’t read one in a long time, I suggest you do.  I was under the impression that most of the free patterns off Name Brand product sites could be made and the item sold.  Wrong!  I can print the pattern out, make the item and use it for “personal use” only.  That means that I may make as many of them as I want and give them away.  I was reading the comments on a blog today when I was searching for a pattern for dishcloths and potholders.  Some how I got off on a side search for elephant patterns, sewn, knitted, etc.  Any way, I wish I had kept that blog up, because one of the commentators said they thought you could make the patterns and sell the items you get off the Red Heart website.

This is not true, I went to the Red Heart website to make sure that I could use their patterns for projects and then be able to sell those projects.  Under their Policy, Terms and Conditional Use of the Site in section 1.1 it clearly states (and I copied and pasted the exact words) “1.1 Copyright.

You may not use the Site, or the materials available on the Site, in a manner that constitutes infringement of our rights or that has not been authorized by us. Unless explicitly authorized in these Terms and Conditions of Site Use or otherwise in writing by the owner of these materials, YOU MAY NOT MODIFY, COPY, REPRODUCE, REPUBLISH, UPLOAD, POST, TRANSMIT, SELL, CREATE DERIVATIVE WORKS OF, EXPLOIT OR DISTRIBUTE, IN ANY MANNER, THE MATERIAL ON THE SITE, INCLUDING TEXT, GRAPHICS, CODE AND/OR SOFTWARE WITHOUT WRITTEN PERMISSION OF COATS & CLARK. However, you may print and/or download individual pages of the Site solely for your personal, non-commercial use, provided that (a) you do not modify any page or change or delete any copyright or proprietary notices from the materials on any such page within the Site, and (b) these Terms and Conditions of Site Use and any notices in such pages regarding use or ownership are included with reproduced or stored pages.”

Oops, I have made very common mistake for several years apparently.  Well there is no way I can go back over the years and remember all the patterns, projects, and those that sold and what they sold for so I guess the next best thing to do is, stop using there patterns, and start reading through the entire pattern/blog post and site to see if I have permission to use that awesome legwarmer knit pattern I just printed out thinking I can use it.

I mostly will run a search for pattern’s in the public domain once I find out what is popular, do I have an interest in making popular items, or is there a project that is kind of forgotten about that fits in with today’s idea of what is cool, trendy, bitch’n, dandy or whatever the buzz words are for I just got to have it.  Before you make your umpteenth thing-a-ma-whooie for the Spring Farmer’s Market or that Easter Craft Show, do yourself a favor and read the fine print.  I doubt if you would get caught, but into days world with everyone on the internet and all of us go under pen-names, it just might be your neighbors pattern that you are trying to sell in a booth just three or four away from them.

Keep On Crafting Montana!

Tis The Night Before Christmas Eve Day, Oh Boy

I last posted in October that it was a tough year for me in 2015. It is my hope that 2016, is fresh, new, exciting, and full of great positive surprises for all who are reading this posting and for those I know personally. As I have looked back over the year (actually years) since this blog, e-commerce site has been up; I have noticed several things. One I have not been consistent about posting to the blog, or products page. No one has visited or tried to order anything from the site. This makes me think that I am wasting my time and efforts and should try to do something else that is more suited to me. But what is that? Well I guess that is how I will be spending the last few days of 2015, trying to decide what I am willing to change in my life and about myself so that I am moving forward and not beating a dead horse so to speak.

Tell me, do you think this site is just a waste of space and should be deleted? Do you have any suggestions to make this site better? Or is it just one more piece of cyber trash that needs to be cleaned up? It is your internet, what would be best?

Its Been Different This Year

2015, has been a very trying year for me. So much has happened. I moved from North Central Montana to Southwest Montana, my Mom died, and so did a friend of mine. This was the first time that I can remember that I have lost two people in one year. Work has not been the most pleasant adventure for me. I took on a janitorial contract early in January and have been having some issues with the client. I don’t know why people demand a contract, when they aren’t even going to read it before they sign it. I had to take on a job as the place I moved to is rather expensive to live. Unfortunately by doing so, Craftingmontana.com has suffered and for that I appologize. I hate not being able to work on Craftingmontana.com by bringing new pictures of handmade products I have on hand to the store, and to write articles, or maybe for once a story or a poem highlighting one of the various products that I have for purchase on the site.

My sister and I had decided some time back, that an ecommerce website for all the handycraft things I made to pass the time of day for the first five years of being disabled, could be a way for me to supplement my SSDI. Since then my disability has improved some, I no longer require a service dog to be out in public (my adventures really don’t go past grocery shopping or going to work in an empty building now). The level of other issues involved do limit my ability to perform traditional jobs and to tolerate certain environments and personalities long term, still leave a lot to be desired. The janitorial contract that I am currently working through has proven to me that the limitations are real.

It is my plan for the future of this site to turn the shop section into a flipbook catalog, I am also going to get rid of the Guest crafter, apparently I don’t generate enough traffic for that as of yet. The articles will become consistent at least, and if I can I am hoping to find a couple of people who would be willing to film some tutorials. Earlier this week I went out to another sister’s house and she taught me how to can deer meat, one of my childhood favorite foods. Canning your own food is another craft that is slowly going by the wayside. That would have been an interesting tutorial don’t you agree? If you have any suggestions, those of you who are human and land here for whatever reason, if you would leave suggestions for me I would really appreciate it.

I am hoping to supplement my income and I know that I need your help to do so. After all if I have no customers then I have no store. I have finally found a way to model the hats, and scarves better and have been working on my lighting so that the pictures will be easier to see what it is you are getting for your money. Yes my prices are low, but that is because the items are pretty simple right now, and I have been living in poverty for so long that I know it is hard to afford all those birthday presents for relatives, and children’s birthday parties, as well as for Christmas. I enjoy making these items and many more, I like variety and after making 10 or so Arm knitted cowls, I might do some simple seed bead necklaces or earrings, or crochet a cowboy hat or two. To make the beeswax and parifin candles is an all day process that is difficult to do in the small apartment I live in now. I want to start cutting glass and offering candle holders, juice glasses and more candles in containers as well. I have all this wonder pure beeswax I want to use up. The repetition to continue making some items over and over is far to taxing on my hands so I need to change the actions I am taking.

I know nothing about marketing on the internet and certainly don’t understand traffic either. I have seen others prey upon others in ways that are far from honest on the internet, and I have seen others provide top notch service and products as well. Me, I am providing simple, unique, handmade items that make great gifts without having to spend a fortune for. I am a simple person, just trying to boost my income so that I can meet my bills, and maybe put a little away for something whenever it shows up. Any suggestions for Craftingmontana.com, help, or purchases you may make are all greatly appreciated and warmly welcomed.

Remember, Keep On Crafting Montana!

Sewing Bee Needle Sharpener