Sunday, 24 November 2013

Crafting without Compromise


Do you craft without compromising what you do?  Do you work on projects that you feel you need to make, rather than want to make?  Do you make short cuts in your crafting?  These are some of the questions that I have been thinking about recently.  The reason is because I am not sure that I craft without compromise.

Before I go any further I would like to say that today I am showcasing a selection of beautiful blue items from the daily listing thread on folksy.  This month they have named themselves “November Nutters”.  I often think the title is so apt.  We must be nuts to list daily!  We must be nuts to try and sell in a tough handmade market!  We must be nuts to keep promoting in the hope for sales!  I do hope you enjoy looking at these lovely items.  Please click on the photos and have a browse in the seller’s shop. You may get inspired with gift idea for your Christmas shopping!

Right, back to crafting without compromise and the reason I came to the conclusion that I am making compromises in my crafting.  I love to work on a variety of things at the same time.  I have a low boredom threshold!  So one minute I might be machine stitching a zip in a purse or pencil case.  The next minute I might be adding buttons and lace to a project.  Or I might be hand stitching the pages of a notebook or journal.  Or I might be threading beads and making a bag charm.  So, I do lots of different tasks requiring a variety of skills.  I can’t help it – it’s just the way I am!

Hopping from one project to another might not be the best way to work.  But I am trying not to be a conveyor belt and to get the maximum enjoyment with what I do.  However, I am also aware that I am putting huge pressure on myself to complete items, motivated purely by the need to stock my folksy shop.  If I did not have a shop, would I work differently?

Also, one of the pitfalls of working in this erratic way is that some projects fall by the wayside and never get finished at all!  A handmade card maker I met at a craft fair once told me she placed her unfinished cards in a box marked UFOs!  I suspect that all crafters have unfinished projects and they are unfinished for a variety of reasons.  Sometimes I look at an unfinished project and asked myself “Why did I never finish that?”  Sometimes the reason is no more than a loss of interest or lack of enthusiasm – whilst it was there at the start of the project, it has now vanished completely!

What I want to do is start working in a different way.  Not be dominated by the fact that I have a shop that needs stocking – this is where I am crafting with compromise.  I make smaller items because they are quick to make.  I take short cuts in the way I make things to make it a quicker process.  Now, I don’t want to do this!

I want to take time, be more creative, to spend time on a project, designing more, and spending less time using a pretty fabric because it is quick and easy to make, and you know people will like it and therefore buy it!  To really be uncompromising you have to be dedicated to your craft and not worry about how long it takes.

This is where I envy artists.  Painting a picture takes a lot of time, skill and concentration.  It can’t be hurried.  When I used to create huge collages using a variety of materials, and also create huge charcoal and white pastel drawings they took a huge amount of time.  I would spend hours and hours working on the detail, refining and reworking and sometimes you need to stand back before you finish it, so you are sure you have reached that stage where you can say – it is finished!

I want to spend more time working on projects that may not sell.  Recently, I sold my Wedding Journal to a lovely young woman on Facebook who is getting married next year.  That particular journal is one of the most beautiful things I have made and I derived a lot of pleasure from creating it.  It was a one off, unique piece of work made with white silk dupion, creams beads and a most lovely piece of vintage embroidery.  But, it sat in my folksy shop for months and months, in fact so long, I have no idea when I made it.  I despaired of ever selling it.  It took a very long time, but it SOLD!  I just had to wait for the right person!

I hope you have enjoyed reading today’s post and looking at the beautiful handmade items from the folksy daily listing thread.  Do leave a comment if you would like to.  I love reading them.



Shops with featured items include:
Leanne Woods Designs
The Card Jeanie
Uniquely Your Designs
Clare Sherwan
World of Cards
Midnight Star Designs
Wisteria Cottage Crafts
Juniper Spools
I Love Sparkly Stuff
daisycrazy creations
Paper Chain and Beads


  1. Ah, UFOs, I identify with that! I have hundreds of half finished(half started?) items lurking about...

  2. I think all crafters have a stack of unfinished items. I also have several projects on the go at any one time and most of mine take alot of hours to make as well, but that`s where the pleasure is, in watching it slowly come to life.

    1. Apologies, meant to say thank you for including my fun art print. Was so carried away thinking about your post and how true it is for many.

  3. Oh yes, I'm with you there too Edwina, my problem is I have so many ideas in my head all at once and when I sit down to do them I've forgotten them lol. Thanks for featuring my earrings :)

  4. It can be a problem for me. I need to make a living from my crafting and most of my best sellers are repeat orders. I must confess that at times I become bored with using the same fabric time after time.

    I try to counteract this with one off designs like my vintage kimono fabrics, where I only have enough fabric to make one or two pieces. My creativity is satisfied by finding the best way to cut the fabric to show it off to best advantage.

    I also have my tapestry and embroidery hobby where I design and hand stitch miniature carpets. These are very satisfying to create but take a long, long time. There are no short cuts and although some of them are for sale, I will find it hard to part them.

    Shirley x

  5. Thanks so much for including me today Edwina, I completely understand where you're coming from and for a while there my days felt like a blur of cutting rectangles, interfacing rectangles, sewing rectangles and picking the nice fabric wasn't enough involvement from me any more so I stepped back for a while and started to make the things I wanted to make and stretching myself more. I took a part time job, it isn't much but nor is it stressful, it's fun and I work with lovely people and it's also taken the stress out of making so I'm free to really enjoy it again and make things I love, thankfully others seem to like them too:-)

    Thanks again.

    Leanne xx
    (writes blog posts in comments:-))