Handmade

Handmade

And why we pay more for it…

Photo by Roman Spiridonov on Unsplash

As any of you who regularly reads my blog will know, I am a writer, artist and crafter. I create things, which I hope to sell. The thing is though, that as a creative, I have found that so many people really object to paying a little more for the things that I make.

It’s the same with most of my friends who are also creatives. People see the mass produced, machine made things in the big mainstream shops, at a tiny price, and then they baulk when I tell them my prices.

The thing that they aren’t taking into account is that I have trained, and practiced, and honed my skill to produce this item; I have spent hours, weeks, and sometimes months, working on it, and have poured a tiny piece of my heart into it.

This is the difference when you buy from a small independent, rather than a big chain store. Obviously, I am aware that some people simply cannot afford to not buy from a big chain, and I don’t judge them at all.

But as an example, if I were to crochet a cardigan, I would need to purchase the wool, which isn’t cheap. I then spend many hours working to create it, buying, or inventing a pattern, and correcting (probably many) mistakes that I make. I would then charge about £60 for that cardigan, which could, if desired, be adapted to fit individual shapes and sizes. I have had people claim that this is far too expensive, and yet, these same people would have no qualm about going into Marks & Spencer and purchasing a mass produced cardigan for £70–80.

How does this make sense??

This is the problem facing all small creators. We cannot possibly charge an hourly rate, as if we do, we would invariably price ourselves out of the market, and yet, these companies are effectively getting in the region of £60 an hour, and they are using mostly machines to do the work!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that, when you buy handmade, you make an individual do a little happy dance. They feel valued, and worthwhile. You may pay slightly more, but you will be getting an item that is completely original, and which will generally be finished to an extremely high quality, because let’s face it, the odd complaint to somewhere like Marks & Spencer, and a refund is a drop in the ocean to them… they simply don’t care, but to a small independent creative, this same complaint could cost them a lot, not just financially if they have to issue a refund, but also in negative feedback.

So, before you go shopping in those big stores, just have a think about whether you could find a small independent creator who could give you something far nicer and better made.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Purism

Purism

The Curse Of The Art World

Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

As an artist, I have used many mediums throughout the years, and when I have, I’ve found that certain mediums work far better than others for certain pieces of art work.

This is when you run into a conundrum. Do you use the medium that works best for this particular piece of art, and have that little something missing because that medium simply cannot perform that function?

My answer to this is “NO!” As far as I’m concerned, art is art, no matter which medium is used, and I believe (and have found) that if using two different mediums on the same piece of work will allow me to achieve the desired effect, then that is what I will do.

The truth is that I love making art, and if that means that I have to stray from the old fashioned ‘purist’ way of working, then that is what I will do.

The people who are self confessed purists, in my opinion, are cutting off their noses to spite their face. They are putting their pride in being able to stick to one medium above what is best for the picture that they’re working on, and this is never a good thing.


If you’d like to get updates from me once a week, you can click here… 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Learning To Knit

Learning To Knit

A New, Old Craft

Photo by Rebecca Grant on Unsplash

I’ve always been more of a crocheter, but I love the idea of knitting, largely because there are so many really pretty knitting patterns out there.

Now, my sister taught me garter stitch, but for some inexplicable reason, known only to my brain, I couldn’t work out how to purl. A number of people tried to explain it to me, but I just couldn’t seem to grasp it.

Until the week before last. While watching a friend knitting, she explained once more, and for some reason, this time, it just clicked.

I’ve been practicing since then, and although I’ve had a few issues, I’m managing to produce some okay looking rows.

So, I thought I’d share this — my foray into the world of knitting with you….

Watch this space.


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.

Crocheted Mood Blanket

Crocheted Mood Blanket

A Line A Day, A Block A Month, A Blanket A Year

This year, I have introduced a new project to my routine. Some days are good days for me, and some days are not so good- that’s the thing with depression. Moods can change so easily.

It got me thinking… we all have those days where we feel like we haven’t actually managed to accomplish anything, but what if we did?

This is where my idea of a crocheted mood blanket came to me. Crochet is something that I have always found therapeutic. I read a book by Kathryn Vemillo called “Crochet Saved My Life”. In it, she talks of crippling depression and how the repetitive physical movement of crochet helped to give her something to focus on.

I guess this is where the spark came from. Imagine a crochet project made up of twelve “squares”; one for each month of the year. Every day, I plan to crochet a row in a colour that signifies the mood of the day. That way, even on my worst days, I will be able to say that I created something, and it will make me feel as if I have turned something potentially bad, into a part of something beautiful.

These are the colours I have chosen.

1. Rainbow — Hopeful

2. Yellow — Happy

3. Blue — Tired

4. Aqua — Peaceful

5. Red — Triggered

6. Black — Down

7. Pink — Creative

8. Green — Ill

9. Grey/Black — Sad

I’m hoping to post an update on this project once a month, so keep your eyes open for updates and photos. 🙂


Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.